Bengals coordinator knows Favre well

Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has a good track record against Brett Favre, but he has respect for what Favre can do with his supporting cast this year.

In order for the Bengals to clinch the AFC North title on Sunday at Minnesota, they're going to have to get through Brett Favre. In that case, it's beneficial to have a defensive coordinator who has faced him nine times.

From his days as a secondary coach with the Cowboys, and later as a defensive coordinator with Dallas, Atlanta and the Bengals, Mike Zimmer has had to draw up plenty of schemes to contain Favre. So you have to heed his warnings when he thinks that this Vikings team might have one of the best supporting casts of Favre's career.

"They've become a throwing team. I can see why when watching the tape," said Zimmer about Minnesota. "He has the security blanket with the back behind him but he has really talented receivers. These four receivers are pretty dangerous and the tight end is playing well along with the offensive line."

In the nine games between Zimmer and Favre, Zimmer leads 6-3, but Favre did win last year's meeting when he was with the Jets.

Zimmer did say that Favre looks like he's 20 and shows no signs whatsoever of slowing down. The main key this week is going to be discipline, as in no missed tackles or breakdowns in coverage.

"You can't be undisciplined at all this week because he'll find a guy open. He can look this way and throw that way," Zimmer said. ‘We're going to have to be on our toes.

"I think he's a hell of a winner and a competitor. He has all the intangibles — strong arm and he's a little street-ballish. He's not afraid. He's got no fear. His arm strength is what makes you the most concerned."

When asked if this is the most dangerous offense the Bengals have faced all year, Zimmer said, "Probably, but Houston was good too. Their team is built for the dome. It's a fast track with receivers and skill players and Favre gets the ball in really tight spaces."


  • With the Bengals light on the defensive line with the injury to Domata Peko, the team is looking to bring back DT Shaun Smith, who left in 2007 to sign with Cleveland.

  • QB Carson Palmer has faced the Vikings only once. In 2005, he was 27 of 40 for 337 yards and three touchdowns.

  • RB Cedric Benson is 31 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season.

  • RB Larry Johnson was in for only two series last week against Detroit and might see the same amount of carries against Minnesota.

  • WR Chad Ochocinco has three 100-yard receiving games this year. Two of those are against NFC North teams.

  • WR Andre Caldwell was held without a catch last week and has been demoted to the second kick returner.

  • DE Jonathan Fanene had his first career interception and touchdown last week against Detroit.

  • LB Dhani Jones leads the team in tackles with 103 and has three sacks.

  • CB Johnathan Joseph has already established a career high in interceptions with five.

  • K Shayne Graham has six field goals in the last two games.

  • DE Domata Peko (knee) and RB Bernard Scott (turf toe) have already been ruled out for Sunday's game at Minnesota.

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