Kirkpatrick's 30-yard return with 2:41 left capped a game of big plays - long runs, big kick returns and two interceptions run back for scores. Kirkpatrick picked off Manning again with 67 seconds left to clinch it.
The Bengals (10-4-1) clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season, a franchise record. They'll play in Pittsburgh next Sunday night, with the winner taking the AFC North title.
Manning rallied the Broncos (11-4) to three touchdowns and a lead in the third quarter, but ended up with a season-high four interceptions. The loss gave home-field advantage to New England throughout the playoffs.
The AFC West champions failed in their attempt to clinch a first-round bye.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press