NFL playoff scenarios: Bengals clinch with win over Steelers

Gregory Shamus

For the first time in 30 years, the Cincinnati Bengals will go to the playoffs in two seasons in a row with a 13-10 win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

The Bengals clinched a spot in the playoffs and eliminated the Steelers from post-season play with a huge Week 16 win over Pittsburgh in Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon. It was about as ugly of a game as any NFL could possibly ask for, but AFC North fans know that this is what to expect when these teams meet.

The Bengals came into the game with a one-game lead over the Steelers and would clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win while also eliminating the Steelers. They had lost five straight games to the Steelers, though. The Bengals took an early lead with a Leon Hall pick six of Ben Roethlisberger. They took a 10-0 lead with a Josh Brown field goal in the second.

The Steelers struck back in the second quarter with a long touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown. Then, in the third quarter the Steelers tied things up with a field goal. After the two teams traded turnovers and missed long field goals, the Bengals finally put themselves in a position to win with a late interception of Roethlisberger and just two plays later, the Bengals sent their second field goal through the uprights, giving them the go-ahead score.

The Bengals have now clinched a spot in the playoffs and will play in the post season regardless of what happens in Week 17. However, if the Giants defeat the Ravens today and the Bengals defeat the Ravens in Week 17, the Bengals can still win the division. For now, though, Bengals fans will be happy with their second playoff berth in two years.

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