We’ll start with what the Bengals did when they had the ball Sunday.
After three straight games of being best friends with the scoreboard, Cincinnati seemed to be adding yet another as they scored on a 91-yard, sixteen-play, touchdown drive. The drive featured a big play from BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and several strong passes through the air. Of course, the drive was capped with a 19-yard strike to Jermaine Gresham, who side-stepped into the end zone for an early lead.
However, the passing game quickly deteriorated. An interception thrown by Andy Dalton was returned for a touchdown to tie the game. Dalton did manage to put decent numbers
up in the first half, but punts became frequent, as there was no rhythm to match.
The second half was much worse. The offense struggled to move the football at all, except for late in the fourth quarter. In fact, the passing game struggled more than anything.
The running game continued to flourish as the Law Firm racked up another 100-yard game. He was probably the only reason the Bengals won this game, when the statistics are put on paper.
The ever stout defense continued to improve.
In fact, over half of the Chargers points came off of a pick-six by Dalton. It was also the only touchdown by San Diego, so that the Cincinnati defense has given up just two touchdowns in the last four games.
The first half had to have Bengals fans worried though. Philip Rivers moved the Chargers down the field almost at will at times, even if they weren’t able to finish.
Rivers passed for almost 200 yards in the first half alone.
However, half time brought new life into the secondary. Rivers struggled the entire second half, with most of his passing stats coming on a final drive when they were down a touchdown.
The Bengals defense did force two crucial turnovers and limited the strong quarterbacks’ accuracy to just 54.2%, 11.1% lower than his yearly average.