The San Diego Chargers‘ first two offensive plays of the game saw them do two things they failed to do well in the previous matchup. Running backs were pounding the ball right at the Cincinnati Bengals defense and were getting big gains consistently after being held to 91 yards in the Week 13 match-up.
Ryan Mathews ran right up the middle for a 7-yard gain on first-down, and Danny Woodhead caught a 3-yard pass to get a new set of downs.
The next two runs were for short gains, and on third-down, the Bengals sent safety Chris Crocker on a blitz from the outside and he slammed into Phillip Rivers untouched for the sack and forced a punt.
The Bengals got a couple of first-downs on their first drive that came off BenJarvus Green-Ellis runs, but the drive stalled at midfield and Cincinnati punted down to the SD-14.
From there, the Chargers would go right back to the ground game, running the ball nine times during a 12-play drive that ended with a Woodhead 5-yard TD run to put San Diego ahead 7-0 early. That drive also saw Woodhead catch an 11-yard pas that got the Chargers in a goal-to-go situation.
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