Bengals 23, Ravens 17

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


CINCINNATI -- Josh Brown's three second-half field goals and defensive end Carlos Dunlap's interception return for a touchdown helped the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-17 on Sunday.
Dunlap's 14-yard interception return with 6:06 remaining gave Cincinnati a decisive 23-14 lead as it closed out the regular season with a win at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals and Ravens both finished 10-6 on the season and will be in the AFC playoffs beginning next week. Both teams played their backups generously.
Baltimore is the AFC North champion by virtue of a better division record and will host the Indianapolis Colts.
The Bengals will travel to the Houston Texans, New England Patriots or Denver Broncos for their playoff game.
The NFL will announce dates and times Sunday night.
Baltimore led 14-13 after backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard run with 12:50 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Brown, who had field goals of 47 yards and 32 yards in the third quarter, gave Cincinnati a 16-14 lead with a 38-yard field goal on the Bengals' ensuing drive.
Dunlap tipped a Taylor pass at the line of scrimmage, caught it and returned it for his second career touchdown.
The Cincinnati defense had four sacks Sunday, giving it a franchise record of 51 for the season. The previous record was 48 by the 2001 team.
Baltimore had five starters -- safety Bernard Pollard, linebacker Terrell Suggs, guard Marshal Yanda, wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata -- inactive for the game as well as linebacker Ray Lewis. Lewis was activated to the 53-man roster from injured reserve this week. He had missed the last nine weeks with a torn triceps.
Quarterback Joe Flacco left the game after two series, while running back Ray Rice played just the opening possession for the Ravens.
Taylor completed 15 of 25 passes for 149 yards, while also rushing for 65 yards and one touchdown on nine carries.
Baltimore took a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard run by Anthony Allen with 17 seconds left in the first quarter. The Ravens' drive of 80 yards came on seven running plays.
Cincinnati had just 63 yards of offense in its first five possessions with three first downs and five punts in the first half.
The Bengals tied the score on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Marvin Jones with 39 seconds left in the first half. Dalton completed 5-of-5 pass attempts on the drive to account for all 42 yards.
Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green caught two passes for 26 yards during the drive. It was the only two times he was targeted in the game.
Bruce Gradkowski replaced Dalton to start the second half. Gradkowski went 5-of-11 for 65 yards. He completed a 44-yard pass to Brandon Tate to set up Brown's go-ahead field goal of 38 yards.
Notes: Rice had three carries for five yards. He also picked a personal foul for unnecessary roughness, taking Baltimore out of field goal range in the first quarter. ... Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker missed a 45-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, just his third miss out of 32 attempts this season. He came back and made a 49-yarder with 1:21 remaining to provide the final score. ... Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis did not start after suffering a hamstring injury in pregame warmups. ... Cincinnati defensive end Michael Johnson got two sacks to push his season total to 11.5 and joined Geno Atkins in double-digits. Atkins finished the season with 13. It's the first time since 1981 that Cincinnati has had two players with at least 10 sacks. Reggie Williams had 11 sacks and Eddie Edwards 10 sacks in 1981, a year before the NFL began keeping sacks as an official stat. ... Cincinnati closed out the regular season 4-4 at home after going 6-2 on the road.