Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals are watching the postseason picture unfold with two games that greatly help their opportunities heading into the final two weeks of the season.
One of the benefits with beating the Philadelphia Eagles 34-13 on Thursday Night football is that the Cincinnati Bengals have a weekend to relax, watching games with postseason implications unfold. And boy did they ever. Though Cincinnati didn't clinch anything and their primary goal of winning-out to control their own destiny remains, the Ravens and Colts lost on Sunday, reducing their lead over the Bengals to one game for the AFC North and the No. 5 seed respectively.
The Pittsburgh Steelers play the late afternoon game on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
BRONCOS 34, RAVENS 17
With the Broncos beating the Ravens so badly, it kicks an otherwise demoralized organization already curled up on the ground. The three-game losing streak has reduced their lead over the Cincinnati Bengals to one game for the AFC North.
If the Bengals beat the Steelers next week and the Giants beat the Ravens, then Week 17 will become a game that determines the AFC North Champions. How neat.
AFC NORTH STANDINGS (before late afternoon games)
|Steelers||7-6||Cowboys, Bengals, Browns|
TEXANS 29, COLTS 17
Houston largely relied on their rushing offense against the Colts on Sunday, maintaining control of the game and keeping a two-possession advantage throughout much of the afternoon. Arian Foster put together a dominating fourth quarter to wipe out the clock and prevent any Andrew Luck attempted comeback.
The Colts loss reduces their lead as the No. 5 seed to one game (not factoring tiebreakers) and the Texans clinch the AFC South.
WILD CARD STANDINGS (before late afternoon games)
|No. 5||Indianapolis Colts||9-5|
|No. 6||Cincinnati Bengals||8-6|