San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals 1/5/14 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: San Diego Chargers 27, Cincinnati Bengals 10
January 5, 2014
After a wild opening evening to the NFL’s Wild Card weekend, the anticipation was running high heading into Sunday’s game between the Chargers and the Bengals. Both teams were out to prove they were forces to be reckoned with in the playoffs, as San Diego barely squeaked into a Wild Card berth, and Cincinnati was working with a history of playoff futility. That said, this one ended up being a pretty one-sided affair.
Let’s take a closer look at the key players and statistics from the game so that we can determine why things played out the way they did. Afterward, we’ll look ahead to see what’s in store for next weekend.
What Happened: San Diego started this one out strong, proving they belonged on the same field with the vaunted Cincinnati defense. After a long drive, they found pay dirt near the end of the first quarter with a 5-yard Danny Woodhead TD run and a 7-0 lead.
The Bengals would respond with a 4-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton to Jermaine Gresham. A 46-yard field goal from Mike Nugent would give them a 10-7 edge heading into halftime.
After the break, nothing much went right for the Bengals. Here’s how their second-half possessions ended: punt, fumble, interception, interception, turnover on downs, turnover on downs, end of game.
Meanwhile, the Chargers continued to pour it on with a third quarter TD pass from Philip Rivers to Ladarius Green and a Nick Novak field goal. He’d add another boot in the fourth before a 58-yard Ronnie Brown TD run that would be the final score of the surprisingly warm afternoon. San Diego emerged victorious, shocking the Bengals 27-10.
The Chargers will move on to the Divisional Round of the playoffs to face the Broncos on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Bengals' streak continues. They haven’t won a playoff game since 1990.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Stars: With the Bengals’ offense sputtering and their own defense cruising, the Chargers’ running game held things in check. In all, San Diego posted 196 rush yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground. Thanks to that, Rivers didn’t have to do much--but what he did do was very efficient. He finished 12-of-16 for 128 yards and a TD.
On the other side, Marvin Jones had a nice statistical outing as the team was in comeback mode. He posted eight receptions for 130 yards.
The Goats: Whether or not he deserves it, much of this is going to fall on Andy Dalton. He wasn’t able to take care of the football, as he accounted for two interceptions and a lost fumble. (Giovani Bernard lost one as well.)
Beastly WR A.J. Green also did a disappearing act, resulting in just three catches for 34 yards. He did receive nine targets, though.
Defensively, Cincinnati was put into some tough situations, but didn’t help their cause by only forcing one sack and no turnovers.
Injuries: Terence Newman missed the game for the Bengals with a knee injury. The bright side is that he’ll have an off-season to get himself healthy.
As for the Chargers, they’ve got some concerns heading into next week. DE Sean Lissemore was out, and RB Ryan Mathews had to leave with an ankle injury. There haven’t been any updates just yet, so we’ll have to watch him in practice this week.
Outlook: Things won’t get any easier for the Chargers next week; They’ll head to Denver to take on the eagerly waiting Broncos. That game is on Sunday at 4:40 PM ET on CBS.
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