NFL Wire News

Bengals 37, Broncos 28


CINCINNATI — Bengals rookie Jeremy Hill rushed for 147 yards, and Cincinnati picked off Peyton Manning four times in a 37-28 victory over the Denver Broncos on Monday night at Paul Brown Stadium.

Cincinnati (10-4-1) clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season, and the Bengals can win the AFC North by defeating the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

Manning passed for 311 yards and two touchdowns for Denver, which can still clinch the No. 2 seed in the AFC and a first-round playoff bye with a win over the Oakland Raiders at home Sunday.

Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas finished with seven catches for 115 yards.

Denver (11-4) had the ball trailing by two late in the fourth quarter, but a Manning pass was intercepted by cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who returned it 30 yards for a touchdown with 2:41 left.

It was Kirkpatrick’s second interception of the night.

Cincinnati regained the lead when a 49-yard punt return by Brandon Tate set up Mike Nugent’s 23-yard field goal, making the score 30-28 with seven minutes left.

Denver overcame a 13-point halftime deficit with 21 third-quarter points, and the Broncos led 28-27 heading to the fourth quarter.

A 77-yard kickoff return by Omar Bolden set up running back C.J. Anderson’s 1-yard TD run.

The Bengals responded with an 80-yard kick return by Adam Jones leading to quarterback Andy Dalton’s 22-yard TD pass to running back Giovani Bernard, putting Cincinnati ahead 27-14.

Manning passed for 88 yards in the first half, but he erupted for 168 yards in the third, including two touchdown passes to receiver Emmanuel Sanders, putting Denver ahead 28-27.

Dalton’s only mistake in the first half was a high throw to receiver A.J. Green that was picked off by cornerback Aqib Talib, and the reigning AFC defensive player of the week returned it 33 yards for a touchdown putting Denver ahead 7-0.

Green injured his right forearm on the play and played sparingly the remainder of the half.

Cincinnati tied the score 7-7 on their first play from scrimmage following Talib’s interception when Hill sprinted 85 yards for a touchdown.

The Broncos’ offense, meanwhile, wasn’t much of a factor in the first half, with just six first downs, two of which came on the final drive of the half resulting in a missed field goal.

Manning’s 12th interception this season came when cornerback Reggie Nelson muscled the ball away from receiver Julius Thomas at Denver’s 22-yard line.

Nelson’s third pick of the season set up Dalton’s 2-yard pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham, making the score 17-7.

Nugent’s second field goal, a 49-yarder, put Cincinnati ahead 20-7 just before halftime.

NOTES: Jeremy Hill became the first Bengals rookie to rush for 1,000 yards since Corey Dillon in 1997. … Bengals LB Emmanuel Lamur was inactive due to a hamstring injury suffered in last week’s win at Cleveland. Rookie Marquis Flowers started for Lamur. … Broncos RB Lonnie Hillman missed his sixth consecutive game with a foot sprain. … Before Monday’s loss, Broncos QB Peyton Manning was 8-0 in his career against the Bengals, with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. … Denver WR Demaryius Thomas joined Marvin Harrison (four) and Jerry Rice (three) as the only NFL players with three consecutive seasons totaling at least 1,400 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

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