Apparently history is more important than current trends when it comes to the NFL. Despite being a 7-point favorite and going undefeated at home this year, the Bengals laid a huge egg on Sunday and were blown out by the Chargers, 27-10. Sure, the Chargers ended the season winning five of their last six games, including one against Denver and two against Kansas City, but their one loss came to Cincinnati 17-10.
None of that mattered on Sunday. Both teams were quiet in the first quarter, but the Chargers’ Danny Woodhead had a 5-yard run to the end zone with just 48-seconds left. The Bengals would get things going in the second when Andy Dalton hit Jermaine Gresham for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Then Mike Nugent would hit a 46-yard field goal as time expired to make it 10-7 at half. Unfortunately for Cincinnati fans, that would be the last time they would put points on the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.
Instead, the Chargers would put up 23-points in the final half. Phillip Rivers hit Ladarius Green in the third quarter and Ronnie Brown had a 58-yard run in the closing minutes, and Nick Novak would hit a couple field goals as well.
The Bengals had four turnovers on the day, two of which put the Chargers into great field position.
Andy Dalton was 29-51 on the day for 334 yards. But his two interceptions were huge and add to a host of interception issues that Dalton has displayed in the playoffs during his career.
Phillip Rivers was just 12-16 for 128 yards. He didn’t need much effort in this one, but he did just enough to get the Chargers the win.
While the Bengals will once again finish the season as they failed to find their first postseason win in what is now 24-seasons, the Chargers will head to Denver to play the Broncos. While the Broncos beat the Chargers 28-20 in San Diego on November 10, the Chargers returned the favor on December 12 with their own 27-20 win.