Final

Chiefs 6

(2-14, 1-7 away)

Bengals 16

(4-11-1, 3-4-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 28, 2008

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 

1 2 3 4 T
KC 0 0 0 66
CIN 3 10 0 316

Top Performers

Passing: T. Thigpen (KC) - 191 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: C. Benson (CIN) - 25 CAR, 111 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Bowe (KC) - 10 REC, 103 YDS

Bengals beat Chiefs; will Herm, LJ return?

Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- While Herm Edwards talked as if he'll be back as the Kansas City Chiefs' coach for at least one more year, running back Larry Johnson began trying to talk his way out of town.

Fast Facts

• The Bengals close out the season with three straight wins, their longest win streak to end a season since 1997, when they won three straight to finish 7-9.

• The Chiefs have lost four in row and are 2-23 in their last 25 games.

• The Chiefs had one sack, giving them 10 for the season. That breaks the record for fewest sacks in a season (previously 11, by the 1982 Colts).

• Tony Gonzalez caught a TD pass, his fourth straight game with one.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

Pacing the sideline in a bright red jacket and cap, Edwards watched the Chiefs' season -- and, perhaps, his days in charge of them -- end with another dismal showing. The Cincinnati Bengals completed their late-season surge with a 16-6 victory Sunday that sent both struggling teams into an offseason of big decisions.

The Chiefs (2-14) have more to make.

The worst season in their 49-year history ended with another disjointed performance under Edwards, who urged the franchise to plunge headlong into a rebuilding mode. His rookie-filled team has lost 23 of its past 25 games and has at least one major change ahead.

General manager Carl Peterson is leaving after 20 years with Kansas City. His successor will have a say in whether the team replaces Edwards, who insists that the Chiefs' future isn't as glum as it looks and that he's planning to continue as though he'll be part of it.

"It's absolutely business as usual," Edwards said. "I'll be in the office all week, and I'll be around. We'll evaluate our team and go from there."

Johnson had some advice on one of the team's personnel decisions.

The running back who signed a five-year extension before the 2007 season decided that he no longer fits in Kansas City. He carried only 10 times for 18 yards Sunday, finishing the season with 874 yards in Kansas City's spread offense.

"It has everything to do with the environment," Johnson said. "The city is tired of me, and the organization and I have run our course together. It's time to move on for me. There could be 100 changes. It's time for me to go."

The Bengals (4-11-1) will most likely stay the course after their latest losing season. Coach Marvin Lewis has two years left on his contract, and there is no general manager to replace -- owner Mike Brown makes the important decisions.

The Bengals closed the season with three straight wins, two of them against teams that seemed to care less than they did. They shut out the Browns 14-0 and had little trouble with the lackluster Chiefs, who crossed midfield only once in the first three quarters.

Cincinnati Bengals Kansas City Chiefs

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Cincinnati Bengals' 16-6 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The game served as a preview of next year's offense for Cincinnati, which was missing both tackles and receivers Chad Ocho Cinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh to injury. Cedric Benson, who is a free agent after the season, scored on a 2-yard run and ran for 111 yards.

"Of course there will be other organizations interested," said Benson, who had three 100-yard games with the Bengals.

Houshmandzadeh also is a potential free agent, leaving the Bengals with their major decisions on offense. They could use their franchise tag to keep him for one more year, a move he wouldn't like.

"I feel like I don't mind staying here," said Houshmandzadeh, who led the team with 92 catches for 904 yards and four touchdowns. "I would like to stay here, but I don't want to stay here if I get franchised because it's just a one-year deal. I know that, they know that. It's not a long-term thing."

The Bengals sold 63,984 tickets for the game, setting a franchise record with their 44th consecutive sellout. The crowd got so bored that it did the wave in the fourth quarter. Some of the loudest cheers came for a halftime scrimmage between a youth football team and mascots for local sports teams, including the Bengals' mascot.

The kids won that one.

The overriding question in the Chiefs-Bengals game was which team wanted it less. Apparently, it was the Chiefs. Kansas City had the ball five times in the first half and managed only two first downs, setting the tone.

"I thought early in the football game, we didn't have energy," Edwards said. "And you have to play with energy. We generally play with a lot of energy, and we didn't have that in the first half."

The Chiefs didn't get closer than Cincinnati's 37-yard line until their final drive, which ended with Tony Gonzalez's 5-yard touchdown catch with 2:20 left. Then, the speculation began.

"You look at what Atlanta, Miami and Baltimore did [this season]; there's no reason we can't do the same," Gonzalez said. "But if a new GM comes in and wants to start over, the last thing I want to hear is 'rebuild.' I'm in my 13th year, and I still enjoy the game."

Game notes


Gonzalez's touchdown was his 10th, the most by an NFL tight end this season. … The Chiefs had one sack, leaving them with 10 for the season, the fewest by any team since the NFL made sacks an official statistic in 1981. … Third-round draft pick Andre Caldwell took Houshmandzadeh's spot and had a team-high five catches for 34 yards. He also ran four times for 49 yards, with one of the runs coming after a direct snap. "I felt like I showed I can go out there and play, be a starter," Caldwell said. … WR Chad Ocho Cinco was inactive for the second straight game because of a hamstring injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Kansas City
Cincinnati
1st Downs1423
3rd down efficiency
4-137-16
4th down efficiency
0-10-1
Total Yards220329
Yards per play4.24.7
Total Drives12
Passing189125
Comp-Att
19-3618-30
Yards per pass
5.34.2
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-21-4
Rushing31204
Rushing Attempts
1539
Yards per rush
2.15.2
Penalties6-734-43
Turnovers10
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
00
Possession22:2137:39

Passing Leaders

KCC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Thigpen19/361915.3101-2
CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Fitzpat...18/301294.3001-4

Rushing Leaders

KCCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson10181.8014
Charles393.008
CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Benson251114.4114
Caldwell44912.3026

Receiving Leaders

KCRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bowe1010310.3032
Gonzalez55310.6115
CINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Caldwell5346.8013
Johnson3206.709

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERKCCIN
FG01:41Shayne Graham 38 Yd 03
SECOND QUARTERKCCIN
TD10:57Cedric Benson 2 Yd Run (Shayne Graham Kick) 010
FG01:47Shayne Graham 30 Yd 013
FOURTH QUARTERKCCIN
FG06:21Shayne Graham 43 Yd 016
TD02:20Tony Gonzalez 5 Yd Pass From Tyler Thigpen (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 616