The Cincinnati Bengals have made the playoffs, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are done.
In a tough, back-and-forth AFC North battle, Bengals kicker Josh Brown hit a 43-yard field goal with three seconds remaining to give the Bengals a 13-10 win. That win clinched a playoff berth for the Bengals and eliminated the Steelers from playoff contention.
The Bengals’ defense made life rough for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger all day, pressuring him constantly and intercepting him twice, including on the last-minute pass that set up Brown’s game-winning field goal. Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, in particular, was outstanding, with 2.5 sacks, and Bengals cornerback Leon Hall intercepted Roethlisberger and returned the pick for six to score the game’s first points.
Bengals receiver A.J. Green had an outstanding game, with 10 catches for 116 yards, but he was practically doing it all himself offensively: Andy Dalton threw two interceptions, and Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis could do nothing on the ground, with just 14 yards on 15 carries.
But great defense was all it took to get the Bengals to the playoffs, and that’s where they’re headed, for the second straight year.