Bengals 34, Ravens 17

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals completed their first undefeated season at home since 1988 with a 34-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens and knocked the defending Super Bowl champions out of the AFC playoff chase in the process.
Now, the Bengals must wait to find out who and when they will play in the postseason.
Quarterback Andy Dalton overcame a career-high four interceptions by throwing for 281 yards and a pair of touchdowns plus running for the go-ahead touchdown in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as the Bengals finished the regular season 11-5.
The Bengals, champions of the AFC North, will host their first playoff game and can be no worse than the No. 3 seed in the conference. Should New England lose at home against Buffalo on Sunday, the Bengals would become the No. 2 seed and get a first-round bye.
Cincinnati outscored Baltimore 17-0 in the fourth quarter after the Ravens (8-8) had come back from a 17-6 halftime deficit to tie the game.
Baltimore will miss the postseason for the first time in six seasons under the leadership of head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco.
The Ravens became the 15th Super Bowl champion that failed to reach the playoffs the following season.
Flacco completed 30 of 50 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown but was picked off three times in the fourth quarter.
Dalton threw interceptions on Cincinnati's first two possessions, including the first offensive play of the game, but Baltimore turned those takeaways into just six points. Justin Tucker made field goals of 38 and 22 yards as the Ravens took the lead.
Cincinnati answered with a 53-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to wide receiver A.J. Green, their 11th scoring connection of the season, with 17 seconds left in the first quarter to wipe out that deficit. The Bengals had gained 25 yards on three runs by BenJarvus Green-Ellis before Dalton used a play-action fake that caught safety Matt Elam out of position.
That score tied Dalton with Carson Palmer for the franchise record for most touchdown passes in a season with 32. He took over the record with 1:51 left in the first half with a 16-yard throw to Marvin Jones.
The Ravens tied the game with 11 points off of two more Cincinnati mistakes leading off the third quarter. Cornerback Lardarius Webb picked off Dalton and returned it 19 yards to the Cincinnati 47, leading to a Tucker 34-yard field goal. A 10-yard punt by Cincinnati's Shawn Powell gave the Ravens possession at the Cincinnati 40 and they turned that opportunity into their only touchdown of the game, an 8-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Marlon Brown. Ray Rice added a 2-point conversion run to tie the score.
Dalton regained the lead for the Bengals with a 1-yard run off a read-option fake with 13:29 left in the fourth quarter to cap a 12-play, 90-yard drive.
Cincinnati scored 10 points off of its three interceptions of Flacco. Two of those three interceptions were by cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who returned the second interception 21 yards for his first career touchdown with 4:07 left to play.
NOTES: K Justin Tucker set a Baltimore franchise records for field goals made (38) and points (141) n a season. ... Cincinnati played without TEs Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert. Gresham was inactive with a hamstring injury, while Eifert suffered a neck injury last week against Minnesota. They lost backup Alex Smith to a wrist injury in the second half. ... The Bengals have had 16 touchdown drives of 81 or more yards this season, including eight of 90 or more yards. ... The Bengals finished with their best record since 2005 when they also went 11-5 and won the AFC North.