Cincinnati 23, Steelers 20
Shayne Graham kicked a 37-yard field goal with one second remaining to lift the Bengals to a 23-20 victory this afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals moved within one game of winning the AFC North.
The Bengals (10-3) needed a late drive to win. They moved 43 yards in 12 plays to set up the winning kick.
The Bengals have won double-digit games for the first time since 1988.
The Steelers won against Chicago in Pittsburgh to improve to 8-5. If the Bengals win Sunday at Detroit, they will win the division and earn their first playoff berth since the 1990 season.
Rudi Johnson rushed 30 times for 169 yards and one touchdown.
The Bengals trailed until late in the third quarter when cornerback Deltha O’Neal set up the go-ahead touchdown.
O’Neal recorded his ninth interception of the season and returned the ball nine yards to the Cleveland 37-yard line. On a third-and-goal play from the 4, quarterback Carson Palmer zipped a pass to wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh at the goal line, and he slipped between two defenders for the touchdown. It was Houshmandzadeh’s sixth touchdown catch this season.
The Bengals have scored an NFL-best 136 points off turnovers.
O’Neal, who tied the Bengals single-season franchise record with his ninth interception, almost had his 10th late in the game. He dropped a pass intended for Frisman Jackson in the end zone. On the next play, Phil Dawson kicked a 29-yard field goal to tie the game at 20 with 4:19 remaining.
Bengals second-year running back Chris Perry was taken off the field on a cart in the first quarter after being stopped for no gain on a run play. The initial report was a left ankle injury with a questionable return. Late in the game, the Bengals announced that Perry suffered an ankle sprain.
At halftime, the team announced that Perry and strong safety Ifeanyi Ohalete would not return. Ohalete suffered a rib injury making a tackle in the second quarter. Anthony Mitchell replaced him in the lineup.
The Browns clearly came to play. They jumped out to a 7-0 lead on their first possession.
Rookie quarterback Charlie Frye ran in from the 3-yard line on a bootleg, capping a 56-yard drive.
With the score tied at 7, the Browns turned an interception by linebacker Andra Davis into a 19-yard touchdown drive. Frye passed three yards to tight end Steve Heiden for the score.
The Bengals scored their first touchdown on an eight-yard Rudi Johnson run. It was his fifth touchdown in the past three games and gave him 10 for the season.
Johnson had 109 yards in his first 12 attempts – including a 32-yard run right that was the longest of the season for Johnson and the Bengals. The drive ended with a 21-yard Shayne Graham field goal to cut the Cleveland lead to 14-10.
Graham added a 27-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining in the half to pull the Bengals within 14-13. The Bengals had three possessions inside the Browns’ 20-yard line and came away with just one touchdown and two field goals. They have now scored 15 touchdowns in their last 21 red-zone possessions.
Johnson had 19 carries in the first half for 123 yards.