USA TODAY Sports
The Colts grabbed control of the AFC Wild Card race, while the Steelers and Bengals failed to capitalize on their opportunities.
The Indianapolis Colts are in complete control of the AFC Wild Card race after defeating the Tennessee Titans 27-23 on Sunday. The win pushed the Colts to 9-4 on the year, tops among Wild Card teams and well ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, who both lost to drop to 7-6.
The Colts' win was hardly easy. They trailed by 13 points in the second half and needed two Adam Vinatieri field goals to complete the comeback to compensate for a struggling Andrew Luck, who was just 16-for-34 and tossed wo interceptions. In the end, though, all that mattered was the win and their cushy lead in the AFC Wild Card standings.
The Steelers and Bengals each had chances to make a move for the second Wild Card place on Sunday, but neither was able to take advantage. Pittsburgh was hammered by San Diego 34-24 in a game that wasn't as close as the score suggested.
Cincinnati had their opportunity to move into a playoff spot, though. They lead until the very last play of the game and looked set to jump Pittsburgh, but Dan Bailey nailed a game-winning field goal to down the Bengals 20-19. The Bengals and Steelers are both even at 7-6, but Pittsburgh holds the tiebreaker.
With both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati losing, the New York Jets were able to climb back into the playoff race. A 17-10 win over Jacksonville moved them to 6-7 on the year, just one game back in the race for the final playoff spot.
AFC Wild Card Standings
Indianapolis Colts (9-4)
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6)
Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)
New York Jets (6-7)
Miami Dolphins (5-7)