In what’s becoming a broken record, the Bengals season is done after one extra game, as Sunday in the Wild Card game they were outscored 20-0 in the second half to fall to the Chargers 27-10.
It was a rough day for Bengals QB Andy Dalton, who committed three turnovers, two picks and a fumble, all in the second half in which the Bengals failed to score.
The Bengals led 10-7 at halftime, but then the Chargers started to carve up the Bengals secondary, as they couldn’t hold Phillip Rivers in check in the second half.
The loss extends the league’s longest drought between playoff victories. The last playoff win for the Bengals – 23 seasons ago.
After back-to-back wild card losses to the Texans in 2011 and 2012, the Cats seemed primed to break the streak, a home game vs the west coast 6th seed Chargers on a day in which it was rainy and chilly at Paul Brown Stadium.
Instead, it was the Bolts who seemed more at ease, not turning the ball over, and being able to run it late when it counts, the icing on the cake a 58-yard TD run by Ronnie Brown to put the game away with minutes left.
Dalton was forced to throw a lot trailing in the second half, and ended the day 29 of 51 for 334 yards with a passer rating of 67.0.
Marvin Jones had eight receptions for 130 yards, which is a Bengals postseason record, while A.J. Green was held to three for 34.
The Chargers run game was very good, as they put up 4.9 yards per carry. Feature back Ryan Mathews had 52 yards and Danny Woodhead added 54.
Brown had 77 yards and the long TD run.
For now, it’s a long off season of ‘what ifs’ for the Bengals coaches, their fans, and the players who once again failed when it meant the most.
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