The San Diego Chargers lost to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday 20 - 13. The Bolts were shut out in the second half after taking a halftime lead.
Bengals free safety Reggie Nelson picked off a throw by Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in the final seconds of the game. What could have been a touchdown to tie up the game and send it in overtime, instead sealed the Bengals' win.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton scrambled up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:11 left for the go-ahead score.
On second-and-goal, Dalton pump-faked right and then ran up the middle, dived for the end zone and got the ball across for a 17-13 lead.
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Rivers had two turnovers in the final 3:54.
Defensive end Carlos Dunlap sacked Rivers, forced a fumble and recovered at the 13 to set up Mike Nugent's 24-yard field goal for a 20-13 lead.
Rivers was then intercepted in the end zone by Nelson on fourth-and-10 from the Bengals 17 with 49 seconds left.
It was Rivers' 11th fourth-quarter turnover. Out of 12 games, Rivers has been picked off 11 times in the final quarter - the most of any other quarterback in NFL history.
Chargers running back Ryan Mathews earned just 26 yards with nine carries. Rivers had the second most rushing yards with 20 yards.
“Obviously we struggled to run the ball today,” Chargers head coach Norv Turner said in the post-game media briefing.
“We’re in a close game throughout and in the fourth quarter we just didn’t make the plays we needed to make,” he said.
Chargers wide receiver Danario Alexander said the team had a chance but just didn’t get over the halftime hump.
“We just got to learn how to come out and finish these games,” Danario Alexander said in a post-game interview with KFMB.
The Bengals (7-5) remained tied with Pittsburgh in the race for the AFC's second wild-card berth.
The Chargers (4-8) lost their fourth straight game and for the seventh time in eight games, and remain only mathematically alive in the wild-card chase.