Originally written on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 12/3/12

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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Spurs, Kawhi Leonard Agree to Framework on a Max Five-Year Deal

Ex-Cowboy indicted on sexual assault charges

Report: Kevin Love to meet with Lakers

Carli Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Auburn, Oregon to open 2019 season at AT&T Stadium

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Butler can’t sign one-year contract unless it’s with Bulls

DeAndre Jordan wants 4-year deal, bigger offensive role

Kings reportedly looking into viability of firing Karl

Jim Brown: I ‘encourage and support’ Johnny Manziel

Vincent criticizes NFLPA over spending millions on lawsuits

MLB urges Supreme Court to deny San Jose's A's appeal

Report: Pelicans sign Davis to five-year, $145M extension

Jose Aldo out of UFC 189, replaced by Chad Mendes

Landon Donovan takes shot at Jurgen Klinsmann

Hope Solo admits to using stalling tactics on penalty kick

Scottie Pippen: ‘I was LeBron James before LeBron James’

Feud between Scioscia and Dipoto makes Angels fascinating case study

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh throws out first pitch at Tigers game

MLB’s All-Star roster will now announced be over two days

Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to the Blue Jackets

Blatter won’t attend World Cup final due to ‘personal reasons’

Sharks have found their starting goalie by acquiring Jones

Fan who caught A-Rod’s 3,000th says he’s received threats

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

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.