My, what a flipping touchdown! Simpson has Bengals head over heels
It will go down as one of the most remarkable touchdowns of NFL history after Cincinnati wide-receiver Jerome Simpson landed on both feet in the end zone after a stunning somersault.
The mighty move on Christmas Eve helped the Bengals edge to one win away from the playoffs Saturday, holding on for a 23-16 victory over Arizona that secured only their third winning record in the past 21 years.
But now Simpson could be fined up to $25,000 for breakingNFL regulations as he scored.
Scroll down for the match report and VIDEO…
BENGALS 23 CARDINALS 16
Andy Dalton threw a pair of touchdown passes, and Cincinnati withstood yet another fourth-quarter comeback by Arizona to win and remain in playoff contention.
Jump start: Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson (89) leaps over Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington (58)
Another small crowd at Paul Brown Stadium saw the Bengals (9-6) secure only their third winning record in the last 21 years and stay in the running for the final AFC wild card.
Going over: Simpson continues his sensational somersault
Dalton threw touchdown passes to Jermaine Gresham and Jerome Simpson, who did a sensational somersault over a defender and landed on both feet in the end zone.
Going over: Simpson prepares to land in the end zone
Dalton joined Peyton Manning (26), Charlie Conerly (22) and Dan Marino (20) as the only NFL rookies to throw 20 touchdowns.
It”s good: Simpson celebrates with his team-mates after scoring his incredible touchdown
Arizona (7-8) rallied from a 23-0 deficit and had a chance to tie it. Receiver Early Doucet was uncovered at the goal line but tripped as he ran, letting a fourth-down pass fall incomplete with 1:11 left.
VIDEO: Flipping brilliant
RAVENS 20 BROWNS 14
In Baltimore, Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes as Baltimore downed Cleveland and moved one step closer to winning the AFC North.
Ray Rice ran for 87 yards and caught a TD pass for the Ravens (11-4), who led 17-0 at halftime and held on against the bumbling Browns. Baltimore completed its first unbeaten season at home (8-0).
The Ravens can win the AFC North by defeating Cincinnati next week. That would also give them a first-round bye and a home playoff game.
Josh Cribbs had a career-high 84-yard punt return for Cleveland (4-11) but the Browns generated little offense and were victimized by questionable play calling, bad clock management and untimely penalties in their fifth straight loss.
EAGLES 20 COWBOYS 7
In Arlington, Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes as Philadelphia defeated Dallas in a game that had all the intensity of a preseason dress rehearsal.
This game became somewhat meaningless midway through the first quarter. A victory by the Giants eliminated the Eagles (7-8) from the playoffs and turned the Dallas-New York game next weekend into a showdown to decide the NFC East title.
The Cowboys (8-7) rested quarterback Tony Romo after just one series and running back Felix Jones after two.
Vick threw a touchdown pass on the opening series and again just before halftime. Alex Henery kicked field goals of 43 and 51 yards for the Eagles.
RAIDERS 16 CHIEFS 13 – OT
In Kansas City, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime to eliminate Kansas City from the playoff race and keeping Oakland”s AFC West title hopes alive.
Carson Palmer threw for 237 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders (8-7). His perfectly thrown 53-yard pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey early in overtime set up Janikowski”s winning kick.
All smiles: Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) celebrates his game-winning field goal in overtime with team-mates Jared Veldheer (68) and Cooper Carlisle (66)
Kyle Orton threw for 300 yards for Kansas City, his only TD pass going to Dwayne Bowe with 1:02 left to tie the game. The Chiefs had a chance to win it on the final play of regulation, but Ryan Succop”s 49-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Trevor Scott to send the game to overtime.
BILLS 40 BRONCOS 14
In Orchard Park, New York, Jairus /12/25/article-2078552-0F44DC2900000578-759_468x307.jpg” width=”468″ height=”307″ alt=”Stuck in the middle with you: Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chastin West (C) loses the ball as he is sandwiched by Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan (L) and defensive back Alterraun Verner (R) ” class=”blkBorder” />
Stuck in the middle with you: Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chastin West (C) loses the ball as he is sandwiched by Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan (L) and defensive back Alterraun Verner (R)
Rob Bironas kicked three field goals, including a pair of 51-yarders, and Jamie Harper ran for a touchdown. Jared Cook had a 55-yard TD catch and finished with 169 yards receiving, a franchise high for a tight end.
Maurice Jones-Drew, the NFL”s rushing leader, ran for 103 yards and a TD for the Jaguars (4-11). He now has a career-high 1,437 yards this season.
PANTHERS 48 BUCCANEERS 16
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Cam Newton broke Peyton Manning”s rookie record for yards passing in a season as Carolina cruised past Tampa Bay.
Newton threw a 91-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell and had 171 yards and three touchdowns in all as well as scoring on a remarkable 49-yard run up the middle in which he outraced smaller defensive backs to the end zone.
The Panthers (6-9) scored on eight of their first nine possessions and piled up 397 yards in three quarters. Newton and other key starters were rested from early in the fourth quarter.
DeAngelo Williams scored on runs of 8 and 22 yards, his sixth and seventh of the season, and Jonathan Stewart ran for 88 yards and caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Newton.
Tampa Bay (4-11) lost its ninth in a row.
VIKINGS 33 REDSKINS 26
In Landover, Maryland, Minnesota overcame injuries to Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder on back-to-back plays to edge Washington and end a six-game losing skid,
Toby Gerhart filled in for Peterson after a knee injury and set up a touchdown with a 67-yard run, and Joe Webb threw for two TDs and ran for another while subbing for the concussed Ponder.
Webb”s 8-yard pass to Percy Harvin broke a 23-23 tie early in the fourth quarter, and rookie Mistral Raymond”s first career interception set up Ryan Longwell”s 23-yard field goal that gave the Vikings a 10-point lead with 4:05 to play.
The Vikings are 3-12. The Redskins lost their sixth straight home game to fall to 5-10.
LIONS 38 CHARGERS 10
In Detroit, the hosts secured their first playoff spot in this millenium as Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes in the first half to beat San Diego.
Detroit (10-5) has won three straight after a seven-game slump to earn a wild-card spot.
Winning feelings: The Lions players celebrate their Christmas win with their fans
The Chargers (7-8) will not be in the postseason for a second straight year after making it five times in a six-season stretch. And that might cost coach Norv Turner his job.
The Lions held San Diego scoreless until midway through the third quarter, when Philip Rivers threw an 11-yard pass to Malcom Floyd to make it 24-7.
PATRIOTS 27 DOLPHINS 24
In Foxborough, Massachussets, Tom Brady ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as New England came back from a big halftime deficit to beat Miami and clinch a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs.
The Patriots trailed 17-0 at halftime then scored on their first five possessions in the second half. The Dolphins contributed to their own demise, as Matt Moore lost a fumble at his 38-yard line then threw an interception that Devin McCourty picked off at the Patriots 2.
New England (12-3) won its seventh straight game. After the Texans lost to the Colts on Thursday, the Patriots needed a win or a tie to lock up one of the AFC”s top two spots.
Miami (5-10) is now 1-1 under Todd Bowles, who took over as coach when Tony Sparano was fired.
GIANTS 29 JETS 14
In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Victor Cruz set two franchise receiving records as the Giants kept their playoff hopes alive and earned New York bragging rights with victory over the Jets.
Cruz, who had three catches for 164 yards, broke Amani Toomer”s single-season mark for yards receiving – and the team”s record for longest touchdown reception, a 99-yarder that gave the Giants the lead for good in the second quarter.
Ahmad Bradshaw ran for two touchdowns for the Giants (8-7), who did a little more than the Jets (8-7) and can win the NFC East with a victory next week against Dallas.
The Jets” playoff hopes took a serious hit, and they will need to win at Miami next week and get help from several other teams.