Found December 02, 2012 on Fox Sports Ohio:
The surging Cincinnati Bengals have climbed back into playoff contention behind impressive efforts on both sides of the ball. Very little, in contrast, has gone right for the injury-plagued San Diego Chargers, who appear to be falling apart. The visiting Bengals try for a fourth consecutive win Sunday against a Chargers team hoping to avoid a seventh loss in eight games. Cincinnati (6-5) closed September with three straight wins only to lose its next four but has since gotten back on track. The Bengals, who've outscored opponents by an average of 21.3 points during their current run, sit in seventh place in the AFC - just outside the playoff picture. "The anticipation comes down to these last five (games) now and what they mean and how important they are," coach Marvin Lewis said. "We're in OK position. We're not in great position, but we're in OK position. And we've got to improve upon it each and every week." While Andy Dalton has thrown nine touchdowns and no interceptions over the last three weeks, the Bengals' running game is also finally coming around. After rushing for 189 yards in a 28-6 win at Kansas City on Nov. 18, Cincinnati compiled 221 during last Sunday's 34-10 victory over Oakland. BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for a season-high 129 yards and a score while Cedric Peerman added 61 on eight carries for the Bengals, who had been limited to an average of 93.7 rushing yards over their first nine games. Cincinnati is 7-0 when rushing for at least 130 yards since the start of last season. "We've got to keep this going," Dalton said. "The running game has done a great job the last two weeks. We've got to keep the balance." Cincinnati's defense also continues to come up big. The Bengals limited the Chiefs and Raiders to a combined 502 yards and have forced seven turnovers during their winning streak. "What's really cool is that our offense is clicking now, and our defense is clicking and special teams have been playing great," defensive tackle Domata Peko said. "So when you get us rolling on all cylinders, we're going to be a tough team to beat." Cincinnati now looks to keep things going against San Diego (4-7), which doesn't carry much momentum into Sunday's showdown. The Chargers opened 3-1 but have since dropped six of seven - with their only victory coming over the one-win Chiefs on Nov. 1. San Diego appeared to be in good shape to get back in the win column Sunday, leading Baltimore 13-10 and forcing the Ravens into a fourth-and-29 with 1:59 left. The Chargers, however, couldn't bring Ray Rice down until he gained 30 yards on a short pass, and they eventually lost 16-13 in overtime. "I guess for you guys, you can say that, and it's easy to say," coach Norv Turner replied when asked if that play summed up the team's season. "It's a play we had guys in position to make the play and we didn't handle it very well." Philip Rivers threw for 228 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens but San Diego was outgained 443-280 in total offense. Things aren't about to get any easier for the Chargers, who lost strong safety Atari Bigby to a season-ending groin injury last Sunday. Leading tackler Donald Butler (groin) is also expected to miss time while safety Darrell Stuckey (hamstring) is uncertain to play. Pro Bowler safety Eric Weddle, meanwhile, suffered a concussion last Sunday but is expected to be ready for this game. "We've lost a lot of guys throughout on offense and on defense, and we have guys that just keep coming in," Turner, who placed left tackle Jared Gaither on injured reserve last Friday, told the team's official website. "Obviously, it affects you in certain situations." San Diego's banged-up secondary could have its hands full with A.J. Green, who's tied for the league lead with 10 receiving TDs and ranks fourth with 1,022 yards. The star wideout hauled in three receptions for 111 yards against the Raiders but saw his nine-game TD streak come to an end. Cincinnati pulled out a 34-20 home win in the last matchup in this series in 2010, but has dropped five of six in San Diego since 1992.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Bengals earn stripes in win vs. Bolts

Andy Dalton scrambled up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:11 left for the go-ahead score and the Cincinnati Bengals won their fourth straight game, 20-13 over the staggering San Diego Chargers on Sunday. On second-and-goal, Dalton pump-faked right and then ran up the middle, dived for the end zone and got the ball across. The Bengals (7-5) remained tied with Pittsburgh...

Dalton's 6-yard TD lifts Bengals over Bolts

There was Andy Dalton, diving for the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. And there was Philip Rivers, losing a fumble on one drive and then throwing an interception in the end zone the last time he touched the ball. Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals simply bided their time and waited for Rivers and the San Diego Chargers to cough up another fourth-quarter lead, because it always...

Dalton's TD scramble lifts Bengals over Bolts

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Andy Dalton scrambled up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:11 left for the go-ahead score and the Cincinnati Bengals won their fourth straight game, 20-13 over the staggering San Diego Chargers on Sunday. On second-and-goal, Dalton pump-faked right and then ran up the middle, dived for the end zone and got the ball across. The Bengals (7-5) remained tied...

Week 14: Cowboys-Bengals preview

Dallas at Cincinnati Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio - TV: FOX; DirecTV: 706 *TV announcers: Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin *Keys to the game: The Bengals have found an excellent mix of hard-running BenJarvus Green-Ellis complementing highly-accurate QB Andy Dalton. After his early-season struggles, Dalton has discovered a tick more...

Nick Lachey kicked out of Bengals-Chargers game

Things got a little to hot for 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey, and the Cincinnati Bengals fan was kicked out of Qualcomm Stadium during the San Diego Chargers-Bengals game. TMZ posted a video of Lachey being escorated out by security, in which the boy-bander bragged on Twitter, “Just got kicked out of the chargers stadium and couldn’t be prouder! Go Cincy Bengals” Despite being...

Sometimes You Gotta Win Ugly

I stated last week that Sunday’s game in San Diego would be a good test of what this Bengals team really is. With the Chargers’ season on the line, Takeo Spikes said before the game that he was going to play like it was a postseason game. It seemed that many of his teammates adopted that attitude, because they gave the Bengals as much as they could handle for much of the game...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.