Around the AFC North: Wild Card


AFC North Playoff Teams** CINCINNATI (10-5-1, No. 5 seed): The Bengals are in the playoffs for the fourth straight season but are 0-3 in the postseason the last three seasons … Cincinnati has 20 interceptions and has allowed 18 touchdown passes …RBs Jeremy Hill (85 yards) and Giovanni Bernard (89 yards) are the NFL's first teammate tandem to have touchdown runs of at least 85 yards in the same season … The Bengals are 73-12 under Coach Marvin Lewis when they have 30-plus rushing attempts in a game in regulation. They had 29 in their regular season ending, 27-17, loss to the Steelers … Cincinnati is 61-14-1 under Lewis when having fewer turnovers than its opponent and 14-57-1 when committing more turnovers than the opposition … QB Andy Dalton is 40-23-1 as a starter … Hill has 929 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in his last nine games.

BALTIMORE (10-6, No. 6 seed): QB Joe Flacco went 8-for-9 for 161 yards and two touchdowns during a 17-point fourth quarter that pushed Baltimore past Cleveland, 20-10, and into the playoffs in the regular season finale … The Ravens set franchise records for points scored (409) and yards gained (5,838) this season … Flacco set a career high with 27 touchdown passes … Baltimore entered the regular season's final weekend with 18 players on the reserve/injured list, including six defensive backs and two long-snappers ... The Ravens are in the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.


The Rest of the AFC** NEW ENGLAND (12-4, No. 1 seed): The Patriots are the top seed in the AFC for the fifth time (2003, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2014) … New England had won 35 consecutive regular season home games against AFC opposition prior to losing to Buffalo, 17-9, in what for the Patriots was a meaningless regular season finale … The Patriots lost the 2012 AFC Championship Game at home to Baltimore, 28-13 … New England didn't allow a second-half touchdown in its final six regular season games and outscored opponents in third and fourth quarters, 67-12, in that span … The Patriots had 12 players register at least one interception this season ... New England scored points in the final two minutes of the first half in 10 of 16 games this season (66 total).

DENVER (12-4, No. 2 seed): The Broncos have won four straight AFC West Division championships and won the Conference Championship to reach the Super Bowl last season … Denver finished the regular season as the only team ranked in the top five in total offense (No. 4, 402.9 yards per game) and in total defense (No. 3, 305.2) … QB Peyton Manning came within one touchdown pass of becoming the only player in NFL history with three seasons of 40-plus touchdown passes (Drew Brees and Dan Marino also have two). Manning didn't throw a touchdown pass in two of his last four games … Manning's 4,727 passing yards upped his total for 4,000-yard seasons to an NFL-record 14 … Manning (9,049) and Brett Favre (10,169) are the only players in NFL history with more than 9,000 career passing attempts … Denver finished 8-0 at home via a regular season ending 47-14 win over Oakland.

INDIANAPOLIS (11-5, No. 4 seed): The Colts have gone 11-3 in December since 2012 (6-0 at home) … K Adam Vinatieri connected on his first 28 field goal attempts of the season but went 2-for-3 in the Colts' regular season ending, 27-10, win at Tennessee … Indianapolis has won 33 games the last three seasons ... QB Andrew Luck has passed for 12,957 yards over the last three seasons, the most of any Super Bowl-era quarterback in his first three campaigns. Luck had a franchise-record 4,761 passing yards and 40 touchdowns this season … Luck is one of two Super Bowl-era quarterbacks to lead his team to at least 10 wins in each of his first three seasons (Russell Wilson of Seattle is the other).

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