The Vikings slammed the door on the NFC North with a 34-7 home rout of the Bengals.

There was some heartwarming to go along with the hardware as Teddy Bridgewater played in an NFL regular-season game for the first time in 714 days when he entered with 10:38 to go in the fourth quarter and the Vikings leading 34-0. Bridgewater had suffered a devastating knee injury before the start of the 2016 season, forcing the Vikings to trade for Sam Bradford and eventually turn to Case Keenum. Bridgewater’s first pass tipped off the fingers of Jerick McKinnon and was intercepted, but that did nothing to spoil the story.

“It was an emotional moment when he went out there, because we care so much for the kid,” coach Mike Zimmer said. … The Bills are still holding on to a wild-card berth as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since losing the Music City Miracle after the 2000 season.

The Broncos won five of Osweiler’s seven starts in 2015 run. They’ll need a similar run this year if they’re going to re-enter the AFC playoff race.

Said Raiders defensive lineman Bruce Irvin: “I think we’re just facing adversity right now. Coming into the year, you all [in the media] were telling us how good we are. I don’t know if we believed it or not, but it be like this.”

Safety Reggie Nelson said the team needs to “just get back to doing us — winning, playing fast and do what we do best.’’

“We’ve got a lot of work to do and that’s what we plan to do and try turn this thing around,’’ Nelson said. “We’re running out of time.”

After the Chiefs expressed interest in Surtain, we started negotiating a new contract for him while the two teams agreed on trade compensation. Surtain, whose 29th birthday was approaching, went for a 2005 second-round pick (46th overall) while 2005 fifth-round picks were also swapped with the Chiefs moving up 24 spots. At the time, Surtain was in the discussion for best NFL cornerback not named Champ Bailey.

And so we again see how patrons of teams with the worst records are “rewarded” with the best starting times.

If their teams are decent or better, they can expect inconvenient late-afternoon or late-night starts, which also diminishes the value of their tickets and, under Goodell, their “good investments” in PSLs.

There can be no more consistent, stronger message that suckers remain the NFL’s best cash customers.
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