Stats & Info: Ronnie Brown

Keys to victory: Chargers 27, Bengals 10

January, 5, 2014
What were the keys to victory for the San Diego Chargers in their 27-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, their first playoff win since the 2008 wild-card game against the Indianapolis Colts?

Dalton had a rough day
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked three times.

Dalton is now 0-3 with one touchdown and six interceptions in three career playoff starts.

Dalton was 2-for-his-first-9 with an interception when the Chargers sent at least five pass-rushers at him, (he finished 4-for-11).

The Chargers also thwarted Dalton’s attempts to find his favorite target, A.J. Green. He completed 3 of 9 attempts to Green for only 34 yards. That was his worst completion percentage targeting Green this season.

Dalton completed more passes to the Chargers' defense (two) than Green (one) in the second half.

The Bengals finished with four turnovers, matching their most ever in a playoff game. That was also the most by a Chargers opponent all season. The Chargers' defense had only 17 takeaways during the regular season, third-fewest in the NFL.

Key drive: Chargers' go-ahead score in third quarter
Philip Rivers was 5-for-6 in the first half, matching the fewest attempts in the first half of any game in his career. But he came out throwing in the third quarter.

Rivers was 6-for-6 for 68 yards with a touchdown pass on the Chargers' first possession of the third quarter. Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal all had their first receptions of the game on that drive.

That was the Chargers' second touchdown drive of the game, and both took at least 10 plays. The Chargers had an NFL-high 39 drives of 10 or more plays in the regular season.

Rivers, who led the NFL in completion percentage during the regular season, finished 12-for-16. This was the first time in eight playoff games that Rivers did not throw an interception.

Chargers run the ball
San Diego gained a season-high 196 yards on the ground, which was also the most by any team in a game against the Bengals this season. The Chargers rushed on 68 percent of their plays, their highest rush percentage since Week 15 of the 2007 season (69 percent against the Lions).

The Chargers gained 50 rush yards after contact Sunday. They were held to a season-low 22 rush yards after contact in Week 13 against the Bengals.

Ronnie Brown's 58-yard touchdown run put the game away. It is tied for the second-longest touchdown run in Chargers playoff history. Keith Lincoln had a 67-yard touchdown run and Paul Lowe had a 58-yard touchdown run in a 51-10 win over the Boston Patriots in the 1963 AFL Championship.

Looking ahead
The Chargers will face a Broncos team they've already beaten once this season. They are 2-0 in playoff games in which Peyton Manning has been the opposing quarterback.
With the 16-0 victory, the Chicago Bears are the first team in NFL history with 700 wins. Second is the Green Bay Packers with 660.

It’s only appropriate that the Miami Dolphins were shut out on Thursday. It’s the first time Miami was shut out at home in exactly nine years. On Nov. 18, 2001, the New York Jets blanked the Dolphins in Miami, 24-0.

The only other shutout this season also involved an NFC North team winning on the road against an AFC East opponent. In Week 8, the Packers won at the Jets, 9-0.

And it was nearly four years ago to the day that the Bears shut out a team on the road. On Nov. 19, 2006, the Bears blanked the Jets 10-0 in the Meadowlands.

The Bears improve to 4-1 on the road, which currently is the best road record in the NFC. (Four other NFC teams are 3-1 on the road heading into Sunday’s schedule.) Chicago’s final three road games are against NFC North opponents, and the Bears already have home wins over the Lions, Packers and Vikings. Since 2002, Chicago has finished just one season with a winning road record – 7-1 in 2006.

The Miami Dolphins, who were 1-11 on 3rd downs, now are 1-4 at home and 4-1 on the road.

From the Elias Sports Bureau: The Bears held the Dolphins to 39 rushing yards. that's the fourth game this season they've held an opponent to less than 50 yards rushing, the most in the NFL. That’s as many such games as the Bears' defense recorded over the past three seasons combined.

Tyler Thigpen had a team-high six rushes Thursday against the Bears. From the Elias Sports Bureau: He's the first QB to lead the Dolphins in carries in a game since David Woodley in 1981. Woodley (and RB Tony Franklin) had 15 rushes Dec. 19, 1981 against the Bills.

More From the Elias Sports Bureau: the seven rush attempts by the Dolphins running backs and fullbacks (three each by Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown and one by Patrick Cobbs) on Thursday tied the fewest in a game in franchise history by running backs/fullbacks.
The Detriot Lions' Ndamukong Suh wasn't the only non-kicker to try an extra point on Sunday.

Ndamukong Suh
Suh was forced to try an extra point when Jason Hanson was hurt, and hit the right upright.

Later in the day, the New England Patriots' Wes Welker was forced to try a PAT when Stephen Gostkowski was hurt. Welker made his extra point, the second of his career. In 2004, he made both an extra point and field goal as a member of the Miami Dolphins.

From the Elias Sports Bureau: The last day when two players, whose listed position were not kicker or punter, attempted extra points was Sept 9, 1979: QB Cliff Olander of the San Diego Chargers and RB Tony Galbreath of the New Orleans Saints.

• Speaking of extra points, the Buffalo Bills' Rian Lindell missed the first PAT of his career. His 321 consecutive extra points made was the fourth longest streak in NFL history.

• From the Elias Sports Bureau: The Buffalo Bills are the only winless team in the NFL at 0-8, and they have lost each of their last three games by three points. They are the fifth winless team since the merger to lose three consecutive games by three points and the first since the 2005 Green Bay Packers.

• In their final three possessions against the Lions, the Jets had 10 first downs after generating just 13 first downs in their first 11 possessions.

• The Lions, who won last week, have gone 48 straight games without back-to-back victories -- the longest active streak in the NFL.

Brett Favre
• Brett Favre's career-high 446 passing yards was the second 400-yard game of his career (the other came in 1993) and was the fourth-most passing yards in Vikings history. Tommy Kramer holds the franchise record with 490 yards in 1986.

• Aaron Hernandez had two TD receptions, the first Patriots rookie with two receiving TDs in a game since Clarence Weathers in 1983.

• Ronnie Brown had his 33rd career rushing TD, tied for third in Miami Dolphins history with Karim Abdul-Jabbar. Larry Csonka holds the franchise record with 53.

• Michael Turner recorded his eighth game with at least two rushing touchdowns with the Atlanta Falcons. That's one shy of the franchise record held by Gerald Riggs.

• Arian Foster leads the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns, four shy of the Houston Texans single-season record set in 2004 by Domanick Williams (13).