Cincinnati (7-5) opened the scoring with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Jermaine Gresham midway through the first quarter. The Chargers got right back into it early in the second quarter, as Nick Novak kicked a 20-yard field goal three seconds in and Demorrio Williams returned an interception for a score just 48 seconds later. Mike Nugent tied the game for Cincy with a 19-yard field goal, but Novak answered on the final play of the second quarter to give the Chargers a 13-10 halftime lead.
Neither team managed to score in the next 25 minutes of game time, but down the stretch, the Bengals took control. Dalton rushed for a six-yard score with 4:11 remaining, giving Cincinnati a 17-13 lead. A minute and a half later, Nugent connected from 24 yards to put the Bengals up by seven. The Chargers drove to the Cincinnati 17 on the following possession, but Philip Rivers threw an interception with 49 seconds left to seal San Diego's fate.
After losing four in a row earlier this season, Cincinnati has now won four consecutive games. The Chargers have lost four in a row and seven of their last eight.
Fantasy studs and duds
With three total touchdowns in this game, there weren't many studs. Cincinnati running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis didn't find the end zone, but he picked up 118 yards on the ground. Dalton threw for just 211 yards, but he totaled two touchdowns. San Diego's Danario Alexander failed to score, but he caught six passes for 102 yards. The Chargers' defense forced three touchdowns and returned an interception for a touchdown.
Ryan Matthews had a tough day running the ball for the Chargers, as he finished with just 26 yards on nine carries. Rivers had an awful day. Not only did he throw for fewer than 300 yards -- 280 -- he failed to produce a touchdown and he threw an interception and lost a fumble.
Did they cover?
12/9: Dallas at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
12/16: San Diego at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. ET