Cincinnati and Indianapolis qualified for the NFL playoffs with narrow victories today while Minnesota's post-season bid was boosted by an upset of Houston.
Josh Brown's 43-yard field goal with four seconds remaining gave Cincinnati a 13-10 victory at Pittsburgh that clinched a playoff berth for the triumphant Bengals and left the Steelers sitting home after a fifth loss in six games.
Indianapolis rookie Andrew Luck, this year's NFL Draft top pick, flipped a seven-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne with 4:08 to play to give the Colts a 20-13 win at Kansas City to secure a playoff spot.
The Bengals and Colts joined Denver, New England, Houston and Baltimore as American Conference playoff qualifiers while Atlanta, San Francisco and Green Bay booked three of six berths on offer in the National Conference.
Seattle can clinch a playoff trip later on Sunday with a home victory over San Francisco while Washington, Dallas, Minnesota and the New York Giants will fight into next week's final regular season games for the final spots.
Minnesota stayed in position for a National Conference spot by shocking host Houston 23-6, dropping the Texans to 12-3 and keeping them from clinching a home-field edge throughout the American Conference playoffs.
Adrian Peterson, the NFL season rushing leader, ran 25 times for 86 yards for the Vikings, leaving him 207 yards shy of the one-season NFL rushing record of 2,105 yards set by Eric Dickerson with the Los Angeles Rams in 1984.
Peterson will try to make history and Minnesota will try to reach the playoffs in next week's season finale against Green Bay.
The Washington Redskins won their sixth game in a row with a 27-20 triumph at Philadelphia, improving to 9-6 to stay atop the NFC East division entering next weekend's showdown with Dallas, which lost 34-31 in over-time to visiting New Orleans to fall to 8-7.
Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III completed 16-of-24 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns despite playing with a brace on his sprained right knee after missing last week's victory at Cleveland.
The Redskins would claim their first division crown since 1999 with a home triumph over the arch-rival Cowboys next Monday.
Garrett Hartley's 20-yard field goal gave New Orleans a victory after Tony Romo threw two touchdown passes in the final 3:35 to lift Dallas level and force over-time.
In other games on today, Green Bay routed visiting Tennessee 55-7, host Miami beat Buffalo 24-10, St Louis won 28-13 at Tampa Bay, New England won 23-16 at Jacksonville, host Carolina downed Oakland 17-6 and visiting San Diego defeated the New York Jets 27-17.