Bengals turn back Colts’ brief challenge


The Bengals are playing like a club that knows a first-round playoff bye is within the realm of possibility.

In a second half dominated by the offenses, the Bengals have pulled to a 35-21 fourth-quarter lead against the Colts n Cincinnati.

After the Colts had cut the Bengals’ lead to 21-14 in the third quarter, the Bengals responded with two straight TDs. First, they extended their lead to 28-14 on a one-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton to tight end Jermaine Gresham. Then, after forcing a three-and-out, the Bengals added another touchdown, with Dalton hitting A.J. Green for a nine-yard score.

The Colts, who have stayed in the game on the strength of their passing game in the second half, would rebound to draw within 35-21 with 9:54 left on a Luck-to-Lavon Brazill TD pass. The touchdown was Brazill’s second of the half.

With a win against the Colts and a Patriots loss to Cleveland, the Bengals would move into the No. 2 seed in the AFC. The Patriots are currently losing 19-11 to the Browns early in the fourth quarter.