Rapid Reaction: San Diego Chargers
December, 1, 2013
By Eric D. Williams | ESPN.com
SAN DIEGO -- A few thoughts on the San Diego Chargers' 17-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals:
What it means: The Chargers drop to 5-7 on the season and are now a game out of the final AFC wild-card spot. But San Diego still has a chance to work back into the postseason conversation, with three of its final four games at Qualcomm Stadium.
Chargers give it away: The Chargers' inability to hold on to the football was costly. Twice, veteran tight end Antonio Gates was responsible for a turnover inside Cincinnati territory. Reggie Nelson forced Gates to fumble on San Diego's opening drive, and safety George Iloka recovered. In the second half, Gates had a Philip Rivers pass stripped by Cincinnati cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick for an interception. Receiver Keenan Allen was stripped by Iloka in the fourth quarter, and Vincent Rey recovered. Heading into Sunday's contest, the Chargers had 13 turnovers all season.
Bengals own line of scrimmage: San Diego's defense allowed Cincinnati to grind out 164 rushing yards, as the Bengals' offensive line got a consistent push up front. On the other side of the ball, Cincinnati's defense held the Chargers to 91 rushing yards.
Stock watch: San Diego safety Eric Weddle made a couple of game-changing plays. He corralled his first interception of the season on a poorly thrown ball by Andy Dalton intended for A.J. Green in the first half. And with Cincinnati trying to run out the clock, Weddle recovered a BenJarvus Green-Ellis fumble caused by fellow safety Marcus Gilchrist. The turnover led to a Nick Novak 48-yard field goal.
What's next: The Chargers host the New York Giants next weekend at Qualcomm Stadium in a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff.