The San Diego Chargers were stupid on a Sunday.
Mike McCoy coached a terrible game, Keenan Allen played distracted, Philip Rivers was not at all careful with the ball, and the team "seemed to commit a penalty every other play," in the words of Dan Fouts.
Sometimes, the Chargers are good enough to overcome their own stupidity. Today, they were not, because the Cincinnati Bengals played well. They played well on defense, their running game was borderline dominant, and Andy Dalton threw for 3 touchdowns without a single interception.
This is the worst kind of Chargers loss because they weren't necessarily beaten by a better team (although they probably were). More than that, they were beaten by their own stupidity. Every single time they had a chance to make a move and threaten to win this game, there was another penalty or another stupid turnover (like Rivers' toss into triple-coverage during the final offensive drive of the game, which was the second time in about ten minutes where he threw to a blanketed Malcom Floyd).
Every good thing, like the defense stopping the Bengals 3 & Out on the first drive of the game, was followed up by something stupid (like Keenan Allen muffing a punt and letting the ball bounce away into the waiting arms of the Bengals players). Melvin Gordon played great, putting up 98 total yards on 17 total touches, but it didn't matter.
Yes, A.J. Green had a good game. Tyler Eifert had a good game. Dalton was good, taking what the defense was giving him and not trying to do too much. Geno Atkins was disruptive all game, and Cincinnati definitely had better play from their Cornerbacks than San Diego did. Yes, they were the better team, but it would've been a lot more fun to see both teams play a good game and see who threw the heavier punch. Instead, we got to watch the Chargers shoot themselves in the foot for three straight hours.
We'll find out next week if this is just the team we're going to have to expect on the road this season. It's worth pointing out that the Chargers have gone 4-4 on the road every year since Mike McCoy took over, and that they have another tough road game next week in Minnesota.