Sunday, January 5, 2014

Big second half advances Chargers to AFC Divisional Round

CINCINNATI, OHIO (01/05/2014) The San Diego Chargers (10-7) will move on to the AFC Divisional Playoffs after knocking off the Cincinnati Bengals (11-6) 27-10 in an AFC Wild Card game at Paul Brown Stadium.

It was the first home loss of the season for the Bengals, who have not won a playoff game since 1990.

The Chargers drew first blood with a five-yard touchdown run by Danny Woodhead near the end of the first quarter.

Andy Dalton answered back with his first career postseason touchdown pass. The four-yard connection to tight end Jermaine Gresham tied the game 7-7 with 5:59 left in the first half.

At the closing seconds of the first half, kicker Mike Nugent nailed a 46-yard field goal to give the Bengals a 10-7 lead. Those would be the last points the Bengals put up this season.

In the second half, the Chargers' defense forced turnovers on three consecutive drives (two interceptions & a fumble) and kept the Bengals off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.

The Chargers took a 14-10 lead in the third quarter after a 33-yard pass from Phillip Rivers to Eddie Royal set up a four-yard touchdown grab by tight end Ladarius Green.

Following two field goals by Nick Novak (25 & 23 yards), Ronnie Brown sealed the win with a 58-yard touchdown run (longest rush of the season) with 2:17 left to play.

Next up for the Chargers is a trip to Denver where they'll face the top seeded Broncos next Sunday at 1:40 p.m. pacific time. The Chargers split the season series, losing 28-20 at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 10 and winning 27-20 in Denver on Dec. 12.

The winner will face the Indianapolis Colts or New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

Impact Chargers
QB Phillip Rivers
12/16 for 128 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions
Offensive Line
318 total yards, allowed just one sack
Solid performance despite center Nick Hardwick leaving the game with a concussion.
The Run Game
Totaled 196 yards and two touchdowns on the ground
Super Charged Defense
Forced four turnovers (two fumbles & two interceptions)
Three sacks, five tackles for loss, seven passes defended, and six QB hits
Shutout the Bengals in the second half

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