One year after putting together the NFL’s worst record, the Indianapolis Colts are headed to the playoffs.
Joining them on Sunday were the Cincinnati Bengals, finishing out the field in the AFC, while the Seattle Seahawks also clinched a playoff berth with a convincing 42-13 win over San Francisco (see roundup, B3).
The Colts (10-5) equaled the 2008 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to win at least 10 games after losing 14 or more the previous season. Top overall draft pick Andrew Luck completed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne late in the fourth quarter for a 20-13 victory at Kansas City.
Cincinnati (9-6) qualified for a second straight postseason berth for only the second time in franchise history, edging archrival Pittsburgh 13-10. The Bengals have never gone to the playoffs in successive years that did not involve a strike-shortened season.
Seattle (10-5) earned at least a wild-card spot and finishes the season at home against St. Louis. The 49ers (10-4-1) would win the NFC West by beating Arizona.
Minnesota’s 23-6 win at Houston prevented the Texans from earning home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. AFC South champion Houston (12-3) still can get that by winning at Indianapolis in the season finale.
Baltimore clinched the AFC North by beating the New York Giants 33-14, sending the defending Super Bowl champions to the brink of elimination.
Washington won and Dallas lost, but the two teams face each other next Sunday, with the winner taking the NFC East title. Green Bay clinched at least the third seed in the NFC when it routed Tennessee 55-7.
— The Associated Press