Chargers 41 Bengals 22
Well, that was a head scratcher. It's never good when your coach uses words like "sloppy" and horrific" in describing a performance. The Bengals looked that way in falling behind 24-0 by the second quarter. But they looked gritty and resilient in reeling off 22 consecutive points in a 14-minute span to pull within 24-22. But in the end the Chargers reeled off 14 straight points in less than three-minutes and scored the final 17 points to deal the Bengals a 41-22 loss at PBS.
The Bengals drop to 7-5 on the season, losing for the third time when looking for a three game winning streak this season. Tough to be a playoff team when you stand 3-3 at home, including loses by 25 and 19. The Bengals stand 7th in the playoff pecking order with the Chargers moving to 6th.
Game of runs: The Chargers scored the first 24 points, the Bengals the middle 22 points and the Chargers the final 17 points.
Well....so much for that: Trailing 24-0, the Bengals raced back to pull within in two on a Joe Mixon TD run with 7:00 left in the 3rd quarter. But they missed the game-tying two point conversion from the one-yard line to leave it at 24-22. The Bengals then drove to the Chargers 39-yard line but Mixon fumbled and the Chargers returned it 61 yards for a TD to lead 31-22. Mixon had over 300 consecutive carries without a fumble before he gave it up. Former Bengals Christian Covington forced the fumble. The Bengals got it back, trailing by two, but a Chase drop, a Uzomah drop and a Burrow sack ended the drive. The Chargers piled on another TD to make it 38-22. The Bengals drove back to the red zone but Burrow was intercepted in the end zone. Ballgame.
Burrow injured: Burrow dislocated the pinky on his throwing hand on the opening drive. He was in obvious discomfort. He tried and discarded gloves. He's one tough SOB (6 sacks) but he was clearly compromised. He was 24-40-300, TD, four turnovers: 3 interceptions (one off Chase drop), fumble, QB rating 70.8.
Bakery: Tough to win when you turn it over four times: Burrow fumble and interception, Mixon fumble/scoop & score, Chase bobble/INT). The defense did force turnovers on three consecutive possessions: Bates fumble, Awuzie interception, Hilton fumble.
Slow start/finish: Bengals first four drives resulted in a fumble, interception, 3 & out, 3 & out. Burrow was stripped and fumbled. JaMarr Chase bobbled a deep ball that would have been a TD and had it picked off. After giving up just 34 first quarter points in their first 11 games, the Bengals allowed 16 in the opening quarter. They allowed 17 points in the 4th quarter.
Momentum shifter: Jesse Bates scooped a fumble and raced 46 yards to the LA 19 yard line and Burrow later scored on a 6-yard run. After trailing 24-0 the Bengals were within 24-13 at the half.
Momentum stealer: The Bengals were driving for the lead when Mixon's fumble turned into a 61-yard scoop and score for the Chargers to push the lead to 31-22.
What the? The Bengals scored on a Tee Higgins high-point 22-yard TD catch, but then took a timeout in confusion over a 2-point attempt. Then took a delay of game. Then opted to kick the PAT, instead, and miss it. It was embarrassing.
Sack attack: The Bengals got to Justin Herbert a career high times, including back to back snaps. Trey Hendrickson + Cam Sample, Vonn Bell, Larry Ogunjobi, Sam Hubbard (half) and BJ Hill (half).
Injuries: The day began without Trey Hopkins and Riley Reiff. Rookie Trey Hill started at center, with Isaiah Prince starting at left tackle. They lost Logan Wilson to a knee injury on special teams and Markus Bailey to a shoulder injury. Chido Awuzie was injured (foot) late in the half when he picked off a pass. Mixon (neck) and Higgins (hamstring) were both shaken up. Attention nows shifts to the pinky and injury fallout throughout the roster.
To a Tee: Higgins had a big day with a career-high 9 catches on 14 targets for a career-high 138 yards, TD. Last 2 weeks: 15-248-2 2 TD.
Stoned: Despite the Chargers entering as the worst ranked team vs the run Mixon never got going with 19 carries for just 54 yards, 2.8 yards.
Laundry: The Bengals committed 7 penalties. They entered as the least penalized in the league at 43.
Deep balls: The Bengals secondary got picked on for 4 completions of 30+ yards.....including Williams 41 and 47 yards, Guyton 44-yards.
Not so special: Evan McPherson missed a PAT. Bengals could not get lineup to attempt a 2-point play and failed on another 2-point conversion. Rookie Pooka Williams got his first NFL action and struggled in kick returns (17.3).
Toying with 'em: The Chargers ran the Philly Special for a two-point conversion of WR Keenan Allen to QB Justin Herbert to make it 24-0.
To the house: With the Chargers scoop and score, opponents have now scored touchdowns on three Bengals turnovers.
Streaking: Third Down Trey Hendrickson recorded his 11.5 to extend his streak to eight straight games. Mixon scored a TD for his 9th straight game, one off the franchise record of 10 set by Carl Pickens.
Rough day for the stripes: At one point the head official apologized twice for the delay as they sorted out a play.
Comeback/schmumback: A 24 point comeback would have been the largest in franchise history.
Number's game: The Bengals or their opponent have scored exactly 41 points four times....Bengals twice in wins (Ravens/Steelers), opponents twice in beating the Bengals (Chargers/Browns).
Next: Home to SF, 4:25 next week