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

Pierre-Paul could face charges for possession of fireworks

Report: Warriors trade David Lee to Celtics for Gerald Wallace

Rivers believes Gates' PED use was unintentional

Favre felt 'bothered' by Green Bay's decision to trade him

Ned Yost explains Alex Rodriguez’s All-Star Game snub

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Donovan McNabb arrested for DUI after rear-ending car

It is progress time for the Philadelphia 76ers

Andrew Luck talks Super Bowl hopes and Patriots

Rapper rips David West for taking pay cut to join Spurs

Report: Kevin Garnett will return for 21st NBA season

Packers plan to keep TE Andrew Quarless despite arrest

Tigers should accept reality and become trade deadline sellers

Roy Halladay snaps selfie while getting a speeding ticket

National Basketball Players Association to set up heath insurance for retirees

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

NHL expansion process begins, application cutoff set for Aug. 10

Cardinals send rookies to Starbucks to pick up order

Mark Cuban fined for discussing Matthews and Jordan deals

Baseball's most productive low-authority hitters of all-time

USWNT's World Cup triumph four years in the making

Cubs announcer defends saying 'no-hitter' during game

MLB scout hiring and pay practices challenged in lawsuit

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

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

Tigers should become trade deadline sellers

JPP could face criminal charges?

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

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.