San Diego 27, Cincinnati 10
Date - 1:05 PM EST, Sunday, January 5, 2014
Location - Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Head Official -
Final Scoring Summary
Chargers 27, Bengals 10: Philip Rivers threw a go-ahead touchdown pass midway through the third quarter and visiting San Diego scored 20 unanswered second-half points to extend its winning streak to five games.
Rivers threw for only 128 yards on 12-of-16, but the sixth-seeded Chargers (10-7) forced three of the four turnovers in the second half to avenge a 17-10 loss to Cincinnati last month and hand the Bengals (11-6) their only home loss of the season. Danny Woodhead had a 5-yard scoring run and tight end Ladarius Green caught a 4-yard TD pass to send San Diego into a third matchup with top-seeded Denver next Sunday.
Ronnie Brown broke free for a clinching 58-yard touchdown run with 2:17 remaining to cap a dismal second half for Cincinnati, which saw its postseason win drought reach 23 years. Melvin Ingram and Shareece Wright recorded interceptions for the Chargers, who split their two previous meetings with the Broncos, winning in Denver 27-20 on Dec. 12.
Andy Dalton finished 29-of-51 for 334 yards with one touchdown, a pair of interceptions and a fumble - all three miscues coming in the second half after the Bengals took a 10-7 lead into halftime. Tight end Jermaine Gresham accounted for Cincinnati's lone touchdown with a 4-yard reception with 5:59 left in the first half.
Rivers was limited to 48 yards on 5-of-6 passing in the first half, but he completed all six attempts on San Diego's first possession of the third quarter - capped by the scoring pass to Green for a 14-10 lead with 6:46 to go in the period. Dalton then fumbled untouched and was picked off by Wright on consecutive possessions, leading to a pair of short field goals by Nick Novak and a 20-10 lead with 14:16 left in the game.
Woodhead opened the scoring by bursting through a gaping hole up the middle in the final minute of the first quarter, but Cincinnati dominated the second period. Dalton found Gresham in the right flat to knot it at 7-7 and Mike Nugent nailed a 46-yard field goal on the final play of the half, but the Bengals also squandered a prime scoring chance when rookie Giovani Bernard fumbled inside the 5-yard line.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Chargers RB Ryan Mathews, who averaged 118.3 yards rushing in his last four games, had 52 on 13 carries before going to the sideline early in the second half after apparently aggravating an ankle injury. ... Dalton's scoring pass to Gresham was his first TD in three postseason starts - he threw four interceptions in his previous two playoff appearances. ... Chargers C Nick Hardwick (neck stinger) was injured on the second possession of the game and replaced by Rich Ohrnberger.
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