Well, a 20-0 second half by the San Diego Chargers is enough to shut me up and win the game.
Cincinnati Bengals fans talk about Andy Dalton as either "Good Andy" or "Bad Andy". Chargers fans could talk about John Pagano's defense in those same terms. The winner of this game was either determined by "Bad Andy" showing up or by the "Good Chargers Defense" showing up.
Heading into this game, I thought the Chargers had a chance to win. Most of the Bengals home wins this year required multiple turnovers by the opponent. If the Chargers could avoid turnovers, I thought they could win. Well, not only did San Diego not have a single turnover, they forced the Bengals into four turnovers (including a crucial one at the end of the first half the probably saved the team a touchdown).
Philip Rivers played great, but his stat line is rather pedestrian. Ryan Mathews played great, until he left the game with an ankle injury. Ronnie Brown inexplicably played great in his place. The offense wasn't bad, but they didn't win this game. The winner of this game was the Chargers defense, their pass rush, and and ascension to superstardom that Melvin Ingram appears to be on.
The Chargers' run of five consecutive victories came after a loss to the Bengals and started with a win over the Denver Broncos, which happened to be Melvin Ingram's first game back from a torn ACL. Now the Chargers, fresh off a win over Cincinnati, will head back to Denver to try and make it back-to-back road wins, back-to-back road wins over the Broncos, and (most importantly) back-to-back playoff wins.
Since I know you're curious, Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead combined for 32 touches in this game. That brings the team's record to 9-0 in games when those two running backs combine for 30 or more touches.
We'll be breaking down everything and anything about this playoff victory throughout the early part of the week before previewing the Broncos game on Sunday, so make sure you're back at BFTB every day this week.