The teams combined for the most points scored in an NFL game this season. It is the most points since November of 2004 when Cincinnati and Cleveland combined for 106 points.
A personal foul called on Shane Olivea on the first play of the game led to the Chargers falling a yard shy of the first down and gave Cincinnati's high powered offense the ball with good field position after a Mike Scifres' shank that traversed 28 yards. The Bengals would convert those two gaffes into seven points. Carson Palmer connected on two passes for 46 yards and Jeremi Johnson ran the ball in from three yards out.
The Chargers deficit became 14 points after the Bengals marched 89 yards on their second drive of the game. Palmer completed five straight passes for 69 yards and Rudi Johnson capped the drive off with a seven-yard touchdown run.
It wasn't long before Cincinnati went up 21-0. A wide open Chad Johnson, thanks to a blown coverage on Terrence Kiel, caught a 51-yard touchdown pass – with nine seconds still left on the first quarter clock.
The Bolts finally got a break when Shayne Graham missed wide left on a 51-yard field goal attempt – the only drive of the first half that did not result in points for Cincinnati. Two minutes and 39 seconds later the Chargers had their first seven points of the game. Philip Rivers hit on three passes and LaDainian Tomlinson ran it in from nine yards out to cut the deficit to 14 points.
The Bengals retook a 21-point lead when Palmer hit Chris Henry for a touchdown with 16 seconds to go in the first half.
Four minutes and 13 seconds into the second half, the Bolts pushed it across the goal line with Tomlinson's second touchdown of the game. Tomlinson accounted for 37 yards on the drive with 33 yards coming on receptions. Malcom Floyd added a 27-yard reception.
Less than two minutes later, Rivers hit Floyd for a 46-yard touchdown to close the gap to 28-21.
Cincinnati would strike quickly, taking three minutes to tack on three more points. But Rivers hooked up with Brandon Manumaleuna for the Chargers third touchdown of the third quarter to make the score 31-28 Cincinnati.
Eighteen seconds later, Palmer hit C. Johnson for a 74-yard touchdown to retake the ten-point lead.
Michael Turner took the ensuing kicking back 49 yards to Cincinnati's 40-yard line. It led to Tomlinson's third touchdown run of the game – just three minutes after Cincinnati answered, making the score 38-35.
Linebacker Shaun Phillips notched a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery on the next play from scrimmage. On the next play, Tomlinson gave San Diego their first lead of the game with an 9-yard run. The turn of events took just 15 seconds.
Graham added a field goal to make the score 42-41 San Diego.
Rivers hit Manumaleuna for the second time in the game with two and a half to go in the game to make the score 49-41.