While the Denver Broncos had already reached a playoff spot, they were hoping to try and gain the top seed in the AFC. The Cincinnati Bengals were just trying to get into the playoffs in their game against Denver. The Bengals wound up on the winning side of things. While the Broncos were clear -3.5 favorites to win, the Bengals went beyond expectations and clinched a playoff spot with a 37-28 win over the Broncos.
Much of this game came down to interceptions. It started in the Broncos favor after Andy Dalton threw an interception to Aqib Talib, who then ran it 33 yards for a touchdown. However, the Bengals tied the game less than half a minute later on an 85-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Hill.
The Bengals would take a 20-7 lead at the half. Peyton Manning threw his first interception of the game in the second quarter; this led to a touchdown pass from Dalton to Jermaine Gresham.
The Broncos mounted a comeback and outscored the Bengals 21-7 in the third with two touchdown passes to Emmanuel Sanders among the scoring. Also, Jeremy Hill lost a fumble for the Bengals in the Broncos red zone.
The Bengals took over in the fourth quarter as Manning threw three interceptions. One interception was returned by Dre Kirkpatrick for a touchdown. Kirkpatrick got another interception on a last-minute drive to try and get the game within one possession.
Although Peyton Manning went 28-44 with 311 passing yards, he still had four interceptions in the game. Manning was also sacked twice. The Broncos moved to 11-4 and lost home field advantage in the AFC to New England. They can still clinch a first round bye with a win against Oakland on Sunday.
Andy Dalton was 17-26 with 146 yards and two touchdowns for the Bengals while Jeremy Hill had 147 rushing yards. The Bengals have secured a playoff spot at 10-4-1 but whether they will win the AFC North and get at least one home playoff game will depend on what happens in their road game with 10-5 Pittsburgh on Sunday night.