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: Ref with Deflategate connection to work Pats game

Sam Bradford is proving himself to be the answer for Eagles

L.A. mayor would want Caitlyn Jenner to light Olympics torch

Segway cameraman apologizes for running down Usain Bolt

Do the Miami Dolphins finally have a coach worth fighting for?

Drew Storen wants a trade this winter – and he’ll likely get it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kobe Bryant: ‘I Was An Idiot When I Was A Kid’

Anthony Davis wants gold medal more than NBA MVP

Report: Ronda Rousey’s last fight topped 900,000 PPV buys

Rose issues statement denying sexual assault allegations

Giants’ rookie Tomlinson blasts a grand slam for first MLB home run

Coughlin treats training camp-weary Giants to ‘spa day’

Denard Span heading to DL again, season appears finished

Are neutral site games good for college football?

Why NFL preseason games matter

Nick Mangold assists cops in car burglary crime wave

Heat owner proposing Miami Vice-type uniforms to fans

Robert Griffin III is hilariously injury prone in Madden 16

How much did Felix Hernandez solve?

Winners and losers from the sports world: August edition

Is it safe to say Justin Verlander is officially back?

Melvin Upton Jr. channels Willie Mays with catch

John Elway talks up Colin Kaepernick: ‘I’ve always liked Colin’

Enrique Hernandez falls down trying to hit Aroldis Chapman pitch

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

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

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Packers smart to sit Rodgers for rest of preseason

Towns is perfect for today's NBA

The Opening Drive: Utah alum Jordan Gross is fed up with the HarBros

Five greatest NBAers without a ring

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

Five potential college football Week 1 shockers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker