NFL: Colts beat Bengals to book Broncos playoff showdown
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts earned a lopsided 26-10 victory over injury-hit Cincinnati on Sunday to book a second-round NFL playoff meeting with Denver.
Cincinnati: Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts earned a lopsided 26-10 victory over injury-hit Cincinnati on Sunday to book a second-round NFL playoff meeting with Denver.
Luck dissected Cincinnati`s defensive secondary, finishing with 376 yards and a touchdown pass to lead Indianapolis to a wild-card round win for the second straight season.
They set up an American Football Conference clash with a familiar foe in Peyton Manning and the Broncos, who are trying to get back to the Super Bowl on February 1 a year after they were humbled 43-8 by Seattle in the NFL`s championship spectacular.
Next weekend will also see AFC top seeds New England host Baltimore, who beat Pittsburgh 30-17 on Saturday.
In Sunday`s National Football Conference action, the Dallas Cowboys -- back in the playoffs for the first time since 2009 -- will try to extend their run when they host the Detroit Lions.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, a Most Valuable Player candidate, will be trying to bolster a post-season resume that includes just one playoff game victory.
"I`m playing at a level I`m proud of and hope to get better," said Romo, who passed for 299 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in a 44-17 thrashing of Washington in the regular-season finale.
"I`m just excited about the progression of improvement and want to keep this going in our next game."
Carolina advanced in the NFC on Saturday with a win over Arizona. Reigning champs Seattle and Green Bay are waiting in the second round for this weekend`s NFC winners, but the match-ups depended upon the outcome of the Dallas-Detroit game.
In Indianapolis, the Colts never trailed as they handed the Bengals yet another early playoff exit.
Adam Vinatieri made all four of his field goal tries, Daniel Herron gained 141 rushing yards and ran for a touchdown, and T.Y. Hilton caught six passes for 103 yards for the Colts.
Marvin Lewis fell to 0-6 in the post-season as Cincinnati`s head coach, the last four of those defeats coming with Andy Dalton at quarterback.
Dalton threw for just 155 yards on 18-of-35 passing, but was under pressure throughout. He was also without his top two targets in wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Jermaine Gresham, both injured.