The Chargers fell to the Bengals 24-19 to go 1-1 on the season, in a game that finished with eight penalties for 64 yards for the Chargers, one interception for Rivers and two costly fumbles.
It was affected by special teams -- turnovers, penalties, a missed 47-yard field goal by Chargers kicker Josh Lambo; and later, a heck of a punt by Bengals' kicker Kevin Huber to pin the Chargers at their own five-yard-line in the fourth quarter.
The good, the bad and the ugly:
**Running back Melvin Gordon had 16 carries for 88 yards, with long gains of 26-yards, 27-yards and 20-yards. He continues to break tackles, make guys miss and improve from week to week.
**Linebacker Donald Butler stripped the ball from Bengals' RB Jeremy Hill as he fell to the ground in the first quarter, turning the ball over to San Diego. On the next drive though, Rivers was hit and lost the football, giving it back to Cincy.
**The Chargers lost this one up front on both sides of the ball. The Bengals were more physical and pushed around San Diego's offensive and defensive lines. Cincy also shut down the receivers for long stretches. Last week against the Lions, WR Keenan Allen had 15 receptions for 166 yards; this week, two receptions for 16 yards. (The leading receiver today was Danny Woodhead, with six catches for 68 yards.)
**Penalties and missed blocks hurt the offensive line. Rivers was hit and pressured quite a bit during the match.
**Cornerback Jason Verrett had a costly facemask penalty for 15-yards in the third quarter. The Bengals went on to score a touchdown. Later, linebacker Melvin Ingram had two penalties in the same drive. The Chargers defense also seemed to struggle to tackle at times.
**Cornerback Brandon Flowers was beat for three separate touchdowns (all by different receivers).
**Head coach Mike McCoy sent his boys to the locker room with :50 seconds left in the first half. He still had two time-outs to use, but instead of forcing the Bengals to punt the ball to the Chargers -- (who had the Bengals at 4th-and-1) -- he let the clock expire. Hindsight is 20/20, but Rivers has shown he can make things happen with under a minute in the game. May have been prudent to let him try.