Bengals down Cardinals, keep playoff hopes alive

Though the final score read 23-16, the Bengals' victory over the Cardinals on Saturday will be remembered not so much for the final tally or the fact that it was a win, but that it provided the image of Jerome Simpson soaring over a defender with a full forward somersault to get into the end zone.

Simpson's acrobatic feat completed a 19-yard touchdown play in the second quarter, the decisive score in Cincinnati's second consecutive victory. The Bengals (9-6) entered the day tied with the New York Jets for the wild card position.

Cincinnati stayed in position to make the playoffs, thanks in part to another effective performance by rookie quarterback Andy Dalton. He threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns Saturday while completing 18-of-31 passes. Dalton has thrown only one interception in his last five games.

Mike Nugent made three of five field goal attempts in the victory.

John Skelton started for the Cardinals again in place of the injured Kevin Kolb, and completed 23-of-44 throws for 297 yards and two scores, but was picked off three times.

The Cardinals (7-8) scored all of their points in the fourth quarter, but the rally fell short and their four-game winning streak ended. They suffered only their second loss in their last eight contests.