Vikings' rout of Bengals is best showing in years

September 29, 1992|By Ray Richardson | Ray Richardson,Knight-Ridder Newspapers

CINCINNATI -- Minnesota Vikings Coach Dennis Green likes to call a road game a business trip. All work and no play. Just do the job.

On Sunday's itinerary, the Vikings managed to squeeze in a little fun at Riverfront Stadium. They blasted the Cincinnati Bengals 42-7 on one of their most successful business trips in recent years.

The Vikings (3-1) moved into a first-place tie in the NFC Central Division with Tampa Bay after their best offensive performance of the season and highest point total since 1989.

Running back Terry Allen, who scored three first-half touchdowns as the Vikings roared to a 28-0 halftime lead, offered a different opinion.

"I don't feel people have seen us at our best yet," Allen said. "We can get better. That's the scary part."

Speaking of scared, the Bengals (2-2) seemed to play with the look of fear. The crowd of 53,847 was not bashful about booing them, and Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter raised heartbeats in the secondary all afternoon.

Career-high performances from Carter and quarterback Rich Gannon unnerved a Bengals defense that might need an overhaul by coach David Shula. Shula stuck with his man-to-man pass coverage through much of the game, and Vikings offensive coordinator Jack Burns stuck it to him. Carter caught 11 passes (nine in the first half) for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Gannon passed for a career-high 318 yards and four touchdowns by completing 25 of 32 passes.

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