Chargers lose close one to Bengals

Listen to this article

It was a difficult start for the San Diego Chargers game in Cincinnati against the Bengals. They started the first quarter with two turnovers that very well may have cost them the game.

The San Diego defense forced the Bengals to punt on their first possession, but Dan Diego wide receiver Keenan Allen muffed the ball and fumbled, and Brock Hekking of the Cincinnati recovered on the Chargers’ 19-yard line.

The Bengals then completed a two-yard pass Marvin Jones and followed it with a touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green.

Cincinnati had seven points that were set up by Allen’s fumble.

The Chargers were only able to score a field goal after that, but their defense kept the Bengals from scoring again in the first.

Rob Williams tweeted a photo of Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, nothing the Jungle was pretty loud.
Rob Williams tweeted a photo of Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, nothing the Jungle was pretty loud.

Cincinnati couldn’t convert on field goal in second quarter so the Chargers took advantage to run nine plays 60 yards downfield. They were able to score another field goal, bringing the score to 7-6, the Bengals sill in the lead.

Shortly after that the Bengals scored their second touchdown, going 84 yards in six plays. Jeremy Hill provided some great running for Cincinnati, which put them in place for Dalton to complete a 45-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones.

With Antonio Gates out the Chargers have been looking for Ladarious Green to fill his roll and in the first half Green delivered for San Diego.

The Chargers started the third quarter on a high note when Philip Rivers connected with Stevie Johnson for his 255th career touchdown pass as a Charger. He surpassed the record set by former Chargers QB Dan Fouts, who just happened to be calling the game for CBS.

The score was 14-13, Cincinnati, and the Bengals’ Jeremy Hill fumbled on their next possession. The Chargers ‘ kicker Josh Lambo was unable to convert his 47-yard field goal attempt, which would have put them ahead by two.

The Bengals scored a field goal in the third, giving themselves a four-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

In that final quarter both teams managed to score touchdowns, Dalton getting his third TD pass of the day. The Chargers tried a two-point conversion after their touchdown, a 40-yard pass from Rivers to Malcolm Floyd, but were unable to do it.

Philip Rivers connects with Malcolm Floyd for one of San Diego's two touchdowns. (Twitter)
Philip Rivers connects with Malcolm Floyd for one of San Diego’s two touchdowns. (Twitter)

The game was over when Rivers threw an interception late in the 4th quarter.

In the loss the Chargers got excellent play from rookie running back Melvin Gordon and running back Danny Woodhead, who caught six passes for 68 yards and ran for 36 yards.

The big takeaway for the Chargers in this loss will be turnovers. Take away that first one and the Bengals don’t get that first touchdown.

They had good play on both sides of the ball, although their defensive pass coverage broke down a couple times that led to scores.

For the Bengals, their defense really did a lot to slow down the San Diego offense. They kept the Chargers to 19 points. None of the San Diego receivers had 70 or more yards.

They outperformed in most categories, but in the end it was their defense that prevented the Bengals from recording their first loss of the season. The final score was 24-19 Bengals.

Next week the Chargers will take on the Minnesota Vikings in the Twin Cities and the Bengals will meet the Ravens in Baltimore.

(L.A. Post-Examiner staff contributed to this report and photos via Twitter.)