With a blue-collar, workmanlike approach, the Cincinnati Bengals knocked the San Diego Chargers back…
Bolts Make Too Many Mistakes
"You can't score 10 points and win in this league very often," quarterback Philip Rivers said after the Chargers coughed up the momentum they'd seemingly gained with an exciting comeback victory at Kansas City.
Andy Dalton threw a go-ahead, 21-yard touchdown pass to wide-open A.J. Green late in the third quarter for the Bengals (8-4), who kept a two-game lead over Baltimore in the AFC North.
San Diego (5-7) saw its playoff hopes dwindle after its fourth loss in five games.
"We've got to work on our consistency," said rookie linebacker Manti Te'o, who had five tackles. "Our good plays are great and our bad plays are real bad.
"We wore ourselves down," Te'o said. "We had opportunities to make plays and they executed. We are going to fix those things."
With the score tied at 7, the Bengals got the ball after Dre Kirkpatrick ripped the ball away from tight end Antonio Gates after a reception at the Cincinnati 25, the Chargers' third turnover.
Ten plays later, Green split the defense for an easy touchdown catch, with safety Eric Weddle and cornerback Marcus Gilchrist only able to watch.
On the Bengals' next drive, Andrew Hawkins caught a short pass from Dalton on third-and-2 from the Bengals 18 and raced 50 yards to the San Diego 32, where he was pushed out of bounds. The Bengals settled for Mike Nugent's 46-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead.
The Bengals appeared to be driving for a score that would have put away the game, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis fumbled when he was hit by Gilchrist.
Weddle recovered and returned it 27 yards to the San Diego 43. The drive stalled and Nick Novak kicked a 48-yard field goal to pull to 17-10 with 4:43 left.
A personal foul against Johnnie Troutman after the field goal forced the Chargers to kick off from their 20 and Brandon Tate returned it 24 yards to the Bengals 34 and Cincinnati ran out the clock.
"There were too many penalties, critical holding penalties there in the end," rookie coach Mike McCoy said. "It was a hard-fought game, but you can't win against a good football team playing the way we did today."
Green-Ellis gained 92 yards on 20 carries.
The Bengals held Philip Rivers to 252 yards passing and have allowed only one 300-yard passing day by an opponent this season.
Dalton was 14 of 23 for 190 yards.
Cincinnati's offensive line manhandled the Chargers on the Bengals' second drive, which ended with BenJarvus Green-Ellis scoring on a 4-yard run.
The Chargers responded with a long drive capped when second-year tight end Ladarius Green split linebackers Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict and was wide open for a 30-yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 7.
"Obviously the turnovers hurt us but we still had some opportunities," Rivers said. "We just didn't capitalize on anything when the defense got us the ball back.
"This is a good team," Rivers said. "Let an opportunity pass us by? Yes. It wasn't like we had it in our grasp and they came in here and stole it from us. We knew we were going to have to play well."
Talk all about Sunday's Chargers-Bengals game inside the message boards.
SDBoltReport.com Recommended Stories
Spotlight Video: Meet the Future of Football
Updated daily! Check out hundreds of incredible profiles of the country's top football recruits in action. For all you recruiting fanatics, it doesn't get any better than this!Read More
Dr. Roto Video: Key Matchups
Dr. Roto highlights all the great matchups to watch in Week 16 with games on both Saturday and Sunday for our Fantasy enjoyment.Read More
The Beast That Inspired Melville's Moby Dick
More than a decade before Herman Melville penned his great masterpiece 'Moby Dick,' a real albino sperm whale roamed Pacific waters off Cape Horn and struck fear into the hearts of whalers far and…Read More
Irish defense catching breaks before break
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly discusses the emergence of young players up front, a position tweak for the Music City Bowl, and the crucial return of starters Sheldon Day and Cody Riggs.Read More
New 'American Sniper' Trailer Released
Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Clint Eastwood's 'American Sniper'; the film is based on the best-selling book written by late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle.Read More
- GAME DAY: San Diego Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers
- Chargers Wide Receivers
- Rivers has back injury Also?
- Keenan Allen Done For Season - Broken Mangina
- Check Out Ref On The Keenan Allen End Zone Interference Play