Monday Night Football: Broncos Clip Bengals 20-17 In Overtime, Clinch Playoff Berth

The Denver Broncos turned the tables on Sunday, putting an end to their recent late-game woes in a crazy 20-17 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.

Denver (11-4) clinches a playoff berth with the win and maintains a one-game lead on the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC West title heading into Week 17. Denver can also clinch a first-round bye next week if they defeat the San Diego Chargers at home.

Down 14-3 after an uninspiring offensive performance in the first half, the Broncos' #1 defense turned up the heat and gave the offense a chance to rally ahead at 17-14 with a Brock Osweiler/Emmanuel Sanders TD connection in the third and a CJ Anderson 39-yard rush for a score in the fourth.

Cincinnati (11-4) kicker Mike Nugent would tie the game with just under seven minutes left in the game, but the offense would stall on their next opportunity after Denver RB CJ Anderson fumbled the ball away on a Michael Johnson strip. Brock Osweiler would cover 54 yards for the Broncos in just over a minute and a half to set up a game-winning field goal attempt, but kicker Brandon McManus would shank a 45-yard field goal with time expiring.

The Broncos would win the toss in overtime and benefit from an inexplicable Vontaze Burfict unnecessary roughness call which pushed the ball into Cincy territory. Denver would ultimately move the ball to the Bengals 19 and McManus would make good on his second chance, nailing a 37-yarder to move Denver ahead 20-17.

From there, it got CRAZY. An incompletion by Bengals QB Aj McCarron would be upheld after official review, but a botched snap on the very next play would be recovered by the Broncos' DeMarcus Ware -- sending the crowd in Denver into delirium.

Cincinnati outgained the Broncos by a 204-89 margin in the first half, riding a hot start by starting QB AJ McCarron to a 14-3 halftime lead. However, the offense went cold in the final 30 minutes -- allowing the Broncos and QB Brock Osweiler to capitalize and punch their ticket to the postseason.

Osweiler finished 27-of-39 for 299 yards and a touchdown on the night. On the other side, McCarron went 22-of-35 for 200 yards, a touchdown and the costly game-sealing fumble.

The AFC North champion Bengals can still clinch a first-round bye with a win in Week 17 over the Ravens and a Denver loss against San Diego. The Bengals' loss also kept the Houston Texans (8-7) from clinching the AFC South on Monday, but the second-place Indianapolis Colts (7-8) still need nine other games to fall their way in Week 17 to make the playoffs -- including another Bengals loss.

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Related Topics: Brock Osweiler, Bengals News, AJ McCarron, Broncos News