NFL: Bengals and Colts claim playoff berths

Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:18pm EST
 

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - The Cincinnati Bengals edged the Pittsburgh Steelers to reach the NFL playoffs, and the Indianapolis Colts joined the postseason party by capping their remarkable turnaround in pressure-packed action on Sunday.

The advancement of Cincinnati (9-6), 13-10 winners over their bitter AFC North rivals, and Indianapolis (10-5), who beat the Kansas City Chiefs 20-13, completed the playoff list in the American Football Conference, though seeding issues remained.

The Houston Texans (12-3) failed to capitalize on a chance to clinch top seeding in the AFC by losing 23-6 to the Minnesota Vikings (9-6), who stayed alive for an NFC playoff berth.

The NFC still had several playoff berths up for grabs.

The Washington Redskins (9-6) maintained the upper hand in their quest for the NFC East title by hanging on for a 27-20 win against the Philadelphia Eagles (4-11), while the Dallas Cowboys (8-7) suffered a 34-31 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints.

DOUBLY SATISFYING

In Pittsburgh, it was a doubly satisfying result for the Bengals whose three-point victory on Josh Brown's 43-yard field goal with four seconds left to play not only put them in the playoffs but also knocked the Steelers (7-8) out of contention.

It was the first victory for the visiting Bengals over their bitter AFC North rivals in six meetings.   Continued...

 
Cincinnati Bengals kicker Josh Brown (3) kicks the game-winning field goal against the Pittsburgh Steelers as Kevin Huber (10) holds in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Cohn