Ravens miss out on play-offs
A review of Sunday's early action in the NFL, with a number of play-off spots up for grabs.
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The Baltimore Ravens will not be able to defend their Super Bowl crown in the play-offs after a 34-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals eliminated them from the post-season on Sunday.
Andy Dalton overcame four interceptions to throw for two touchdowns and rush for two more for the Bengals, who will go into the play-offs as the AFC North champions.
The AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts kept up their momentum heading into the post-season with a 30-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars as Andrew Luck threw for 282 yards and one touchdown.
Robert Mathis had two sacks to reclaim the NFL lead with 19, while Adam Vinatieri kicked three field goals and three extra point conversions to move into fifth in the career scoring list with 2,006.
The Carolina Panthers secured the NFC South title with a 21-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons as Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and Greg Hardy recorded a team-record four sacks.
In all, the Panthers sacked Matt Ryan nine times - another team record.
The win gives Carolina a first-round bye in the play-offs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers avoided a first losing season since 2003 as they beat the Cleveland Browns 20-7 to finish 8-8.
La'Veon Bell ran for 90 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers made it six wins in their last eight after a miserable start to the season.
The result kept alive faint play-off hopes after a 6-2 finish to the season.
The Miami Dolphins will miss the post-season after going down to a 20-7 loss to the New York Jets, who played the role of spoilers to ensure that Rex Ryan will return as coach next year.
Geno Smith ran for a touchdown and threw for 190 yards, while rookie Dee Milliner and veteran Ed Reed both recorded interceptions.
The Jets confirmed the return of Ryan after the game.
The Houston Texans will pick first in April's draft after losing 16-10 to the Tennessee Titans, their 14th straight loss.
The Titans scored 16 straight points to end a five-game losing streak of their own.
The Minnesota Vikings signed off in the Metrodome with a 14-13 win over the Detroit Lions as rookie Cordarrelle Patterson scored two touchdowns.
Both teams were already out of play-off contention, allowing for the scheduling of demolition work to begin on the Metrodome next month.
The New York Giants overcame the loss of Eli Manning to injury to beat the Washington Redskins 20-6 in what is expected to be Mike Shanahan's final game as coach of Washington.
The Redskins finish the year 3-13 while the Giants will also sit out the play-offs and the chance to play a Super Bowl in their own stadium after finishing 7-9.