AJ McCarron overcame a rough start and threw a pair of touchdown passes Sunday, rallying Cincinnati to a sloppy 24-16 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
The Bengals (12-4) matched the best record in franchise history - they also won 12 games during the 1981 and 1988 seasons when they reached the Super Bowl.
The AFC North champions lost their chance for a first-round bye when Denver beat San Diego 27-20 later Sunday. They'll host Pittsburgh next weekend, facing their biggest rival for the third time.
Cincinnati won two of three after McCarron took over for Andy Dalton, who broke his right thumb during a 33-20 loss to Pittsburgh on Dec. 13. Dalton is hoping to return at some point in the postseason.
The Ravens (5-11) finished a season that went sour early with more injuries than any other team in the league.