January 6

Chargers 'D' picks apart Bengals

The Bengals had the NFL’s No. 3 defense, but it was San Diego’s defenders who stole the show in a 27-10 playoff win.

By Joe Kay
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) tosses a pass to running back Danny Woodhead in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

The Associated Press

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This one was a reversal from the last meeting. The Bengals forced three turnovers in their win in San Diego.

The Bengals got the rematch at home, where they had scored 49, 41, 41, 42 and 34 points in their last five regular season games. Their 10 points on Sunday were a season low.

Dalton went 17 of 34 for 170 yards with two interceptions, a fumble and three sacks in the second half. In first-round playoff losses each of the past three seasons, Dalton has thrown one touchdown pass and six interceptions.

“We kept Andy on his heels and got him off his spot,” Weddle said. “We hit him a bunch and forced big turnovers.”

He wasn’t the only one with a big gaffe. Rookie running back Giovani Bernard fumbled at the San Diego 3-yard line after a catch in the first half.

Rivers completed a team-record and NFL-best 69.5 percent of his passes this season for 4,478 yards. He was only 5 of 6 in the first half for 48 yards with San Diego frequently backed inside its 20-yard line to start drives.

He completed all of his six passes during a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter that put the Chargers ahead to stay, with his 4-yard pass to Ladarius Green giving San Diego a 14-10 lead.

Dalton then made the mistakes that turned the game, allowing the Chargers to pull away. Ronnie Brown finished it off with a 58-yard touchdown run, the longest TD run against the Bengals in their playoff history.

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