Originally written on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 11/14/14

HERTFORD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: Takeo Spikes of the San Francisco 49ers talks to the media outside The Grove Hotel on October 27, 2010 in Hertford, England. The San Francisco 49ers will meet the Denver Broncos in the NFL International Series regular-season match at Wembley Stadium on October 31. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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. During the second quarter, I thought my worst fears had come true. After the opening drive, the Bengals looked flat. There was no spark at all. And I began muttering to inanimate objects about how after three straight blowout wins, the team had gotten full of themselves again and taken a win for granted. Fortunately, if I was right about that, they were eventually able to stiff-arm the doldrums and get going again. And maybe I was just too quick to blame the Bengals for playing poorly when actually the Chargers’ defense fought hard for much of the game, exposing a front line that might not be quite as good as we thought and forcing the Bengals into mistakes. Three big mistakes by Dalton, Gresham, and Marvin Jones could have been enough to sink the ship… and would have in years past. Seeing the team reverse the negative momentum is a huge step forward in maturity. And a huge step toward going somewhere in the postseason. Give Marvin credit for making the right adjustments at halftime… something missing during the four straight losses. The defense found its rhythm in the second half after looking rather average in the first half, increasing the pressure on Rivers and forcing him into mistakes of his own. And while the offense didn’t look crisp most of the day (credit the Chargers’ D-line for that), they found a way to do just enough when they needed to. In the end, it wasn’t the fourth straight dominating performance we wanted to see. But going into what could easily have turned into a trap game in a place where they historically have trouble winning, an ugly win ain’t bad.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

Athletics deal Josh Donaldson to Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie

Ohio governor decrees playoff committee honorary Ohioans

Lance Stephenson becoming a problem with the Hornets?

Tony Romo: I promise I'll be better next week

Seahawks could wait to address Russell Wilson's contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: SMU football to hire Clemson offensive coordinator

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Hockey goalie rushes into stands to perform CPR on fan

49ers CEO Jed York apologizes for unacceptable performance

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Mavs' Aminu knocks padding off backboard with dunk

What if the Chargers refused to trade Eli Manning?

Why is there a red seat hanging in the Mall of America?

WATCH: Mickey Rourke TKO’d a man half his age in Moscow

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Five bold predictions for Week 13 in the NFL

Brady Quinn pens 'note' to Jets quarterback Geno Smith

Bills center Eric Wood gained 7.4 pounds at Thanksgiving

Cubs reliever somehow OK after being involved in awful accident

Seahawks players throw shade at 49ers after victory

Five takeaways from NFL's Thanksgiving Day action

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

What if the Chargers didn't trade Eli?

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Is Lance a problem for the Hornets?

5 NFL takeaways from Thanksgiving

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

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.