An Interactive Sports Experience

Chargers Get out of Wild Card Weekend Alive

Final Score: San Diego 27 Cincinnati 10

The San Diego Chargers will be making it out of Wild Card weekend after getting their first playoff win since 2009.

The Chargers were able to advance to a 3rd meeting against AFC West rival Denver Broncos thanks in large to Andy Dalton and his unfortunate turnover miscues in the second half. It wasn’t necessarily all bad for Dalton who did throw for 334 yards and was able to throw his first playoff touchdown, although it was while completing only 56% of his passes, going 29-for-51.

The Bengals have not won a playoff game since the 1990-91 season, the longest active streak in the NFL, and had what many believed to be a great chance at ending that streak against San Diego. It’s been so bad for Cincinnati that every team in the NFL has won a playoff game since the Bengals last playoff win. The Chargers decided to keep that trend going while also putting an end to the Bengals current home-win streak, something they had just done to their next opponent just a few weeks ago.

The Chargers were the first team to put points on the board late in the first, capping off a 12-play 86- yard drive with a rushing touchdown by Danny Woodhead to give them the lead 7-0. The Chargers ran 8 rushing plays in that drive alone and would continue the ground attack all day, running the ball 40 different times compared to only 16 pass attempts.

Cincinnati looked to take control of the game in the second quarter, holding San Diego’s offense to just one first down and two 3-and-outs. With the Bengals first drive of the quarter Dalton threw his first playoff touchdown when he finished off a 60-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Jermaine Gresham that ate up over six minutes of the quarter.

Giovani Bernard would lose a fumble for the Bengals just outside the endzone late in the second quarter but San Diego was unable to convert that turnover into any points. The Chargers would have to punt the ball back to Cincinnati with 1:14 left and the Bengals would set up a quick field goal as the half ended to give the Bengals the lead 10-7.

The second half is when things would fall apart for Andy Dalton and the Bengals. Dalton gave up two turnovers in the 3rd quarter alone, losing a fumble as well as an interception on two consecutive drives. The Chargers began to pull away in the 3rd after Phillip Rivers threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Ladarius Green and converting the Dalton fumble into a field goal to give the Chargers the lead 17-10 going into the 4th quarter.

The Chargers opened the 4th quarter with another field goal to put the lead to 20-10. The Bengals, or more specifically Andy Dalton, would continue to make mistakes, throwing another interception on his first drive of the quarter. They Bengals would also fail to convert on two 4th down attempts on their next two possessions and to make matter worse they would allow a Ronnie Brown to gash them for a 58-yard touchdown run to put the game away 27-10 with 3:07 remaining.

The Chargers will now have to head to the Mile High city to take on the AFC’s #1 seed Denver Broncos. The last time these two teams met San Diego stunned the Broncos at Mile High and came out alive 27-

20 to end the Broncos almost two year home-winning streak. This will be the 3rd meeting between these two teams with the road team winning in the two previous games this season.

As for now all the San Diego Chargers can do is prepare for the tough match-up ahead in the Divisional round now that Wild Card weekend is behind us.

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