After the Bengals secured a 13-point lead with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Curtis Painter completed a 22-yard pass to Reggie Wayne, who benefited from Leon Hall's soft coverage and missed tackle. Austin Collie's first down reception on the following play was ruled incomplete, but challenged (and lost) by Indianapolis' head coach Jim Caldwell. Painter picked up the first down on the following play after being flushed out of the pocket, running towards the left sidelines and finding Reggie Wayne for a 13-yard gain.
Painter followed that up with an 11-yard gain to Pierre Garcon with Nate Clements stumbling and losing coverage. On second down Painter was dropped by Michael Johnson after a nine-yard loss on a quarterback, forcing a third-and-19; Painter converted an eight-yard pass out of the backfield to Donald Brown falling 11 yards short of the first down as the third quarter expired.
Place kicker Adam Vinatieri converted the 45-yard field goal to reduce Indianapolis' deficit to 10 points early in the fourth quarter.