TDBH: Visiting Chargers flip Wild Card tables on Bengals

Posted Jan 4, 2018

This Day in Bengals History - January 5, 2014

The first Bengals team to finish in the top 10 in both NFL offense and defense since 1989 is left to wonder after today’s stunning 27-10 Wild Card loss to a West Coast team that had to travel to sold-out Paul Brown Stadium.  How can they make the postseason three straight years and not advance after going 18-6 in the last 24 regular-season games? After San Diego neutralizes the Bengals’ pass rush with just 16 passes and 40 runs and are able to get into third-and-two or less five times, the AFC North champ Bengals take note.  Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis says the Bengals only have to add a formula. "We're not missing anything. We just have to perform under the lights," says Green-Ellis, who played in a Super Bowl with the Patriots. "Since the beginning of time when playoffs started championship teams are built on running the ball and stopping the run.”

The Chargers turn the tables on their 17-10 loss to the Bengals back on Dec. 1 in San Diego, when Cincinnati runs it 38 times for 164 yards and the Chargers go 24 times for 91 yards. Today the Chargers chew up 196 yards on 40 carries while the Bengals run it 25 times for 113 yards. After surrendering its most rushing yards in two years the proud third-ranked defense seems to finally look worn down without its best players (tackle Geno Atkins and cornerback Leon Hall), without its other starting cornerback (Terence Newman),   without one of its most versatile down lineman (Robert Geathers) and without two nickel linebackers in Emmanuel Lamur and Taylor Mays. "I'm not ready to go home. Very disappointing. Stunning, yeah," says nose tackle Domata Peko. "The way they ran the ball on us, which was disappointing. Missed tackles and mental errors and not in the right gaps at the right time. Trying to do too much." The Bengals add fuel to the fire with four turnovers. By throwing two picks and fumbling once, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s franchise-record regular-season achievements of 33 touchdown passes and 4,296 yards, to go with 30 career wins in three seasons, is taking a bit of a hit now that he’s 0-3 with one TD in the playoffs. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and head coach Marvin Lewis are having no part of it. "I'm very proud of him," Gruden says. "His character. He's a great leader. He didn't have his best game today. Nobody did on offense, defense or special teams. He's going to take the bulk of the criticism. But we appreciate what he stands for and who he is and he'll be a good one for a long time.”

Wide receiver Marvin Jones sets a single post-season game Bengals record with 130 yards receiving, breaking Cris Collinsworth's 120 set in a one-and-done game against the Jets in 1982. "I don't really care about that," says Jones, who has eight catches as the Chargers shade Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green in a Cover 2 that gives him three catches s for 34 yards. "I just wanted to win." It’s going to be a tough week .This consistent run to the postseasons costs Lewis both coordinators when it turns out that Gruden, the new head coach in Washington, and Mike Zimmer, who gets the same job in Minnesota, have coached their last game with the Bengals.

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