Turning point: Scores surrounding halftime

After allowing the Bengals to get to within three points late in the second quarter, the Vikings dominated the next 10 minutes of game time - including a couple of big plays by backup running back Chester Taylor - to go on a 13-0 run to turn a nail-biter into a comfortable 23-7 lead.

Throughout most of the first half of Sunday's 30-10 win over the Bengals, the Vikings were dictating the tempo of the game. But, when Chad Ochocinco took a 15-yard catch and run for a touchdown with 3:56 to play in the first half, the Vikings' lead was cut to 10-7. It was how the Vikings responded from that score that would eventually blow the game open and create the turning point of the game.

"We weren't happy with that drive," linebacker Ben Leber said. "We let them stay on the field with a couple of third downs and, when they scored, we were a little mad at ourselves. I think the whole team felt that way because things changed pretty decidedly after that."

The Vikings offense had its own response to the score. The Vikings responded to the score with a 14-play drive that culminated in a 23-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell to give the Vikings a 13-7 lead with 35 seconds to play in the half – but the fireworks weren't done.

Content to take the safe route from their own 26-yard line, after running a play up the middle, Carson Palmer dumped a screen off to running back Brian Leonard. He was drilled by Antoine Winfield and the ball came loose. Chad Greenway recovered and, with four seconds left, Longwell came back on the field to kick a 44-yard field goal to increase the Vikings lead to 16-7 at the half – making it a two-score game and giving the team some needed breathing room.

For his part, Winfield said he was just doing what he always does – making plays without taking on offensive linemen head-up.

"I got around the wide receiver (Andre Caldwell) and I'm 180 pounds, so you know I'm going to tackle low," Winfield said. "Luckily, I got my helmet on the ball and it came out."

With a nine-point halftime lead, the Vikings salted the game away for all intents on the first drive of the second half. Starting from his own 40 after the opening kickoff of the half went out of bounds, Favre converted a pair of third down plays with passes to Chester Taylor – the second of which was a 26-yard catch and run on a third-and-12 play from near midfield. After a 17-yard run by Taylor put the Vikings on the Cincinnati 8-yard line, Adrian Peterson did the rest – rushing three times to get into the end zone. With 8:40 to play in the third quarter, the Vikings had a 23-7 lead.

The Bengals had a chance to get back into the game following the Ochocinco score, but, in a span of slightly more than 10 minutes of game time, the Vikings controlled the ball for all but 31 seconds – turning a tight 10-7 game into a 23-7 blowout and, as a result of big plays, created the turning point of the game.

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