Posted December 23, 2012 on AP on Fox
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. 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 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. Luck finished with 205 yards passing to break Cam Newton's year-old rookie record of 4,051 yards in a season. He also extended his rookie record for fourth-quarter comebacks to seven by leading his team downfield in the closing minutes. ''Mission accomplished. That's all I can say,'' Colts interim coach Bruce Arians said. ''Without getting emotional again, knowing that (coach Chuck Pagano) is going to be back Monday, the work week shouldn't be as stressful.'' Pagano has been sidelined since a loss to Jacksonville in Week 3. For the Bengals (9-6), Andy Dalton hit A.J. Green with a 21-yard pass in the final moments, setting up Josh Brown's 43-yard field goal with 4 seconds remaining. The loss eliminated the Steelers from contention. ''A lot of people talked about we hadn't been in in back-to-back seasons in 30 years,'' Green said. ''I don't worry about that stuff. I've been here two years and we made the playoffs all two years. That's all we can control.'' 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. New England has won the AFC East, Denver the West. Baltimore clinched the North by beating the New York Giants 33-14, sending the defending Super Bowl champions to the brink of elimination. Washington's 27-20 win at Philadelphia, combined with New Orleans beating Dallas 34-31 in overtime means the Redskins (9-6) will win the NFC East by beating the Cowboys next week. But Dallas (8-7) takes the division by winning that game at Washington, which the league has flexed to prime time. ''They know what it means,'' coach Mike Shanahan said. ''They've been working toward this opportunity to win the division. Any time you win the division, everybody knows you have a home game in the playoffs. We talked about that from Day 1. They knew what we had to do to get there. We haven't accomplished anything yet.'' Green Bay clinched at least the third seed in the NFC when it routed Tennessee 55-7. The NFC North champs (11-4) still could wind up second overall in the conference and get a bye and moved into the No. 2 slot when Seattle romped over San Francisco 42-13. ''We have momentum going for us, particularly what we've done over the last nine weeks, 10 weeks,'' coach Mike McCarthy said of Green Bay's nine wins in the last 10 games. ''So we wanted to take the next step as a football team and I felt we were able to accomplish that today.'' The 49ers (10-4-1) will win the NFC West by beating Arizona next weekend. Seattle (10-5) earned at least a wild-card spot and finishes at home against St. Louis. On Saturday night, NFC South winner Atlanta won 31-18 at Detroit to clinch home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Minnesota (9-6), Chicago (9-6), the New York Giants (8-7) and Washington could wind up with the final NFC wild card. Dallas can't get a wild card. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Let me say I was wrong about Andrew Luck, the kid has been great

Before the beginning of the season, I couldn’t buy into all the hype because everyone was drooling over Andrew Luck. So I went back to the tapes and watched him again and again.  I saw some good throws, then I saw some ugly plays, but being the heir to Peyton Manning in Indianapolis is hefty stuff for a rookie taking the reins of a franchise that won two games last season. Now...

Indianapolis Colts week 16 preview: Kansas City Chiefs

This week there is one simple message the Indianapolis Colts need to take to heart: Win, and you’re in. It’s that easy. And, on paper anyhow, it shouldn’t come any easier than against the woeful Kansas City Chiefs. The numbers are pretty ugly for the Chefs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmgice3ieZ4): 32nd in offensive points per game (13.9), 31st in offensive pass yards per...

Andrew Luck Sets NFL Rookie Passing Record in Playoff-Clinching Victory Over Chiefs

Cam Newton‘s record didn’t stand for very long. Andrew Luck broke Newton’s rookie record for most passing yards in a season. Newton set the mark in 2012 with 4,051 yards. Luck needed just 74 yards to pass the record heading into Sunday afternoon. Luck passed the mark on a 23-yard pass to fellow rookie T.Y. Hilton with just under a minute remaining in the first half. Luck finished...

Andrew Luck breaks rookie passing yards record

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck added another notch on his resume Sunday. Luck broke the single season record for passing yards by a rookie quarterback. The record had been set last season by Carolina’s Cam Newton with 4,051 yards. Newton set the record in 16 games, Luck broke the record just before halftime of his 15th game.

Andrew Luck Breaks took Rookie Passing Record

Indianapolis Could quarterback today made history  throwing the most yards my a rookie, breaking the less than one year old record of 4,051 set last season by Cameron Newton. Luck broke the record on a drive in which he led the Colts to a friend goal to give them a [...]

Colts beat Chiefs 20-13 to clinch playoff berth

Andrew Luck couldn't help but smile thinking about the joyous celebration taking place just down the hall, through the big metal doors marking the entrance to the Colts' locker room. Even interim coach Bruce Arians had been dancing. ''It's a fun locker room, a great locker room,'' Luck said after leading Indianapolis to a 20-13 victory over Kansas City...

As Luck Would Have It

Andrew Luck, of the Indianapolis Colts, the new rookie record holder for most yards thrown by a rookie, also proved to hold the doom card of the KC Chiefs on this final Sunday of the 2012 season at Arrowhead Stadium.

Colts' Luck sets NFL's rookie record

The expectations placed upon Andrew Luck almost seemed unfair. Being the heir to Peyton Manning in Indianapolis is heady stuff for a rookie taking the reins of a franchise that won two games last season. Now, after guiding the Colts back to the playoffs, and breaking Cam Newton's single-season passing record for a first-year player, it's safe to say Luck exceeded just about...

Chuck Pagano to resume coaching duties Monday

On a day when they clinched a playoff berth behind their record-setting quarterback, the Colts were rewarded with the best possible news. The return of Chuck. According to the Indianapolis Star, head coach Chuck Pagano is expected to resume coaching duties on Monday. Pagano, who's spent the last three months battling leukemia, will address his players at 10 a.m. And they...

Colts 20, Chiefs 13

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Quarterback Andrew Luck directed the Indianapolis Colts another rung up the NFL ladder in a 20-13 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium. The outcome guaranteed the Colts (10-5) a spot in the AFC playoffs in two weeks. Last season, the Colts went 1-15, putting them in position to draft Luck with the first choice in the 2012...

Bengals, Colts grab final AFC playoff spots

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. 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...

Fantasy Football Championship Edition Part 2

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs Andrew Luck and the Colts are fighting for a playoff spot. The Chiefs are fighting for a higher draft spot. Jamaal Charles had a bad game last week, but he’s still the only guy on the Chiefs you can look to for help. It’s been hard to pin point [...]

Playoffs

At the beginning of the season, after the disaster that was last year, I said that I would be happy if the Colts won 5-6 games this year. The team is in the playoffs now, and I am completely blown away. Andrew Luck has been good, but the team has been so much more than that. His receivers, especially Reggie Wayne, have been very good, the defense has improved, the offensive line...

A brief geography lesson

Ever since the site joined Yardbarker, we have been graced by increased readership, and a more vibrant comment section. What we haven’t quite found yet is a bastion of well informed, articulate commentary. Sure, there are some diamonds in there, and I love those, because I don’t mind debate or being corrected if I am mistaken. I do truly enjoy the unhinged, nonsensical comments...

Colts Edge Chiefs, Clinch No. 5 Playoff Seed: 5 Things We Learned

The goal was simple for the 9-5 Indianapolis Colts on Sunday: win, and get in.  In other words, the Colts could clinch a playoff spot in the AFC with a win over the Chiefs.  That's exactly what they did, sneaking by Kansas City, 20-13.  In this article, I'll tackle the tough questions following this game, including:Do the Colts deserve a playoff spot?Are the Colts legitimate...
NFL Forum Discussions
Can't wait SPLASH MESSAGE! 2 days!
4 replies, 2 days ago
1st win 2013!
2 replies, 2 days ago
Thank you kinmosa and watamote!
4 replies, 2 days ago
Rodgers out 3-6 weeks?
4 replies, 2 days ago
Thank you Vikes!
4 replies, 2 days ago
Thank you 5 years!!!!!
2 replies, 2 days ago
Home Sweet Home!
2 replies, 2 days ago
NFL on NHK next week
2 replies, 2 days ago
Pro Bowl draft
2 replies, 2 days ago
We are NFC EAST Champion!!!!!!!!!!
2 replies, 2 days ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.