Published January 01, 2012
| Sports Network
Cincinnati, OH – For the first time in five years, the round bye in the playoffs.
The Cincinnati Bengals made the postseason, too, even if they backed in with some help from other teams.
Ray Rice broke off touchdown runs of 70 and 51 yards on Sunday and the Ravens captured their first AFC North title since 2006 with a 24-16 win over the Bengals, earning a No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
Without a victory, Cincinnati needed a loss by the New York Jets plus a loss by either Denver or Oakland to make it back to the postseason after a one-year absence.
The Jets fell in Miami earlier Sunday, and Denver lost to Kansas City minutes before two passes into the end zone fell incomplete on Cincinnati's final possession.