Wrap-up: Bengals 20, Chargers 13
December, 2, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
My thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 20-13 victory at the San Diego Chargers:
What it means: The Bengals (7-5) kept pace in the AFC playoff race with their fourth straight win. Cincinnati remains tied with Pittsburgh for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC. Like the Steelers, the Bengals closed to within two games of the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens (9-3) with four weeks remaining. The Chargers (4-8) lost for the fourth straight time.
Dalton bounces back: Dalton scored the winning touchdown with 4:11 left, and it made up for some costly mistakes. He threw two interceptions (his first in four games) and had one returned for a touchdown. But with the game on the line, Dalton scrambled for 6 yards and dove in the end zone for the winning score late in the fourth quarter. It's the fifth fourth-quarter comeback of Dalton’s career.
Still running: BenJarvus Green-Ellis continued his tear, running for 118 yards on 25 carries (4.7-yard average). It marked the first time a Bengals running back has gained more than 100 yards in three straight games since Corey Dillon in 1999.
Defense shuts down Chargers: The Bengals' defense didn't allow a touchdown and forced the Chargers to kick field goals after driving inside the Cincinnati 3-yard line twice. The Bengals ended the final two San Diego series with Carlos Dunlap forcing Philip Rivers to fumble and Reggie Nelson picking off Rivers in the end zone. That Dunlap turnover led to the winning touchdown.
What's next: The Bengals return home, where they play the Dallas Cowboys.