Bengals 34, Chargers 27

The San Diego Chargers went down 14-0 after the Cincinnati Bengals scored on their first two possessions and most Bolt fans in attendance thought they would see the same old Chargers. Instead the Chargers came within one, 14-13, before falling behind 28-13 by half. They clawed back into the game, but could not muster enough in a 34-27 loss that puts them at 2-9 on the season.

Three quick penalties against the Chargers to open the game put the Bengals at midfield. After a few Rudi Johnson runs, the team was faced with third and twelve from the San Diego 28. John Kitna found no one open and tucked the ball and ran 15 yards for a first. Two plays later Kitna hit Chad Johnson for a touchdown as Quentin Jammer could not keep up in coverage.

After a quick three and out by the Bolts, the Bengals handed the ball off to Corey Dillon who scampered 39 yard to midfield. After two incompletions, Kitna hit C. Johnson for 22 yards on a crossing route. Johnson had Jerry Wilson on him but pushed his tackle off, not once but twice, to gain an extra 10-15 yards. Some short runs by Dillon and two completions by Kitna gave the Bengals first and goal. Three straight passes to C. Johnson finally paid off on the final one as Jammer was again shaked out of his shoes in the back of the end zone, leaving C. Johnson alone for the touchdown.

On second and ten from their own 30, LaDainian Tomlinson put the game on his shoulders and ran 38 yards to the Cincy 32. After losing one yard, the Chargers went for it on fourth and 11 rather than trying a field goal. Doug Flutie pulled the ball down after finding no one open and ran for a first. A penalty on the play turned out to be unnecessary roughness on Kassim Osgood. Since it occurred after the play, the first down held. After a LT run, Flutie hit David Boston wide open down the sideline for a 37 yard touchdown, 14-7 Bengals.

Mixing run and pass from their own 28, the Chargers drove into field goal position. Two 10+ yard runs by Tomlinson and a 12 yard reception by Antonio Gates got them to the Cincy 30. Steve Christie hit the 48 yard field goal to narrow the gap, 14-10.

Marcellus Wiley came up with his first big play of the year. He sacked Kitna on third down and eleven and Adrian Dingle recovered the ball on the Cincinnati 40. A screen to Tomlinson and a quick slant to David Boston put the Bolts down at the 14. They would not get another first and took the three points after a Christie 26 yard field goal, 14-13.

Four different Bengals took the following drive, starting at the Cincy 40, for first down plays and the Bengals quickly entered the red zone with less than two minutes to go. Chad Johnson then took a wide receiver screen from the 12 and juked Sammy Davis blind on his way to his third touchdown reception of the game, 21-13 Bengals. The drive spanned 60 yards, took just six plays and two minutes and 40 seconds.

With less than a minute and a half to go, Flutie hit Boston on the outside over Tory James for a 20 yard gain to move past midfield. Another fourth down attempt by the Chargers, this time on fourth and five fell incomplete as Flutie and Caldwell could not connect at the marker.

The Bengals got the ball with good field position and all their time outs. A jump ball to Kelley Washington and Jammer downfield resulted in a tie. They both caught the ball 30 yard downfield and both players caught the ball. The tie, unfortunately, goes to the receiver. Two more Kitna passes to rookies put the ball at first and goal. Washington then caught the touchdown one play later as Washington beat Jammer in the end zone, 28-13 Bengals.

A drive that started at the Cincinnati 18 by the Bengals drew boos from the home crowd. Dillon gained 25 yards, R. Johnson 10 and C. Johnson 19 before the Chargers stopped Cincy. The big play was a third and one that was stopped inches short of the first, holding them to a 37 yard field goal, 31-13 Bengals.

Behind by 18, LT saw the ball once on the next drive. Flutie went 4-7, hitting David Boston three times to drive the ball downfield in two minutes and twenty eight seconds for a touchdown. The third reception by Boston was the touchdown maker. Flutie hit him on a fly route in double coverage down the sidelines for a 26 yard TD reception to make the score 31-20. Oddly enough, Flutie was at fault for all three of his incompletions on the drive and was almost intercepted by Tory James.

On a Bengal drive that started at their own 40, they didn't need many yards to get into field goal position. The biggest play, Sammy Davis ripped off his helmet and threw it to the ground to get called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Shayne Graham would kick a 47 yard field goal to extend Cincinnati's lead to 14, 34-20.

With the Bengals in prevent, Flutie was able to hit Tomlinson and Boston underneath to eat up some yards, but also eating up the clock. Flutie then went for it all, trying to hit Caldwell inside the ten and pass interference was called. Tomlinson took the next snap from the five and powered it into the end zone to put the Bolts within seven, 34-27. Flutie was 5-5 for 57 yards on the drive.

The Chargers defense would be unable to stop the Bengals on their final drive as they move to 2-9 on the season and the Bengals move to 6-5.

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