CINCINNATI (AP) — Dre Kirkpatrick returned Peyton Manning’s third interception for a touchdown in the closing minutes on Monday night, completing a fourth-quarter rally that gave the Cincinnati Bengals a 37-28 victory and a spot in the playoffs.
Kirkpatrick’s 30-yard return with 2:41 left capped a game of big plays — long runs, big kick returns and two interceptions run back for scores. Kirkpatrick picked off Manning again with 67 seconds left to clinch it.
The Bengals (10-4-1) clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season, a franchise record. They’ll play in Pittsburgh next Sunday night, with the winner taking the AFC North title.
Manning rallied the Broncos (11-4) to three touchdowns and a lead in the third quarter, but ended up with a season-high four interceptions. The loss gave home-field advantage to New England throughout the playoffs.
The AFC West champions failed in their attempt to clinch a first-round bye.
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