Bengals vs. Chargers 2013: Cincy's defense 'significant contributor' in win

Jeff Gross

Cincinnati strengthened its hold on the AFC North with a victory over the inconsistent Chargers.

The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the San Diego Chargers 17-10 on Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium, showing they can play good football away from home.

Cincinnati, which came into the contest with only two road wins this season, topped San Diego with an excellent defensive performance. The Bengals limited Philip Rivers to 252 yards while sacking him twice and causing an interception only a week after the Chargers scored 41 points against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Andy Dalton was pretty mediocre, completing only 14 of 23 attempts for 190 yards with a touchdown and interception, but it was enough to get the job done. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a big day on the ground, gaining 92 rushing yards and a score on 20 carries.

Over at Cincy Jungle, Josh Kirkendall wrote about the Bengals' defensive showing against the high-powered Chargers:

The defense was a significant contributor (again), frustrating San Diego's offense by forcing three turnovers. Reggie Nelson jarred the football lose from Antonio Gates midway through the first, recovered by George Iloka and wiping out a ten-play drive that reached Cincinnati's 31-yard line. The passing defense pressured Philip Rivers into bad throws, a season-low 80.0 passer rating and a completion rate of 62.2 percent, his worst since week one.

As for San Diego, its playoff hopes took a major hit. The Chargers now sit at 5-7 and while only a game out of the final playoff spot, have a bevy of teams to jump. With Denver and Kansas City on the remaining schedule, the Chargers are likely going to need to beat both to have a realistic shot at the postseason.

John Gennaro of Bolts From The Blue writes on the idea of the future in San Diego with this season looking bleak:

We'll probably start talking about NFL Draft positioning soon, but for now we can all take a deep breath and start considering what the 2014 Chargers might look like. There is plenty of young talent on the offensive side of the ball, and the defense should be a lot better after a few injured players get healthy and Tom Telesco goes to work on the San Diego secondary.

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