by Pat Imig
Cold Hard Football Facts Wild Card Dealer (@patrickimig)
The San Diego Chargers, winners of five straight, delivered the Bengals first home loss of the season. They head to Denver for the third encounter with AFC West rival Denver in the Divisional Round next weekend.
The same San Diego Chargers delivered Denver’s only home loss of the season in Week 15 and will bring first year coach Mike McCoy back to his stomping grounds.
The last time the Cincinnati Bengals won a playoff game, Madonna’s “Justify My Love” was No. 1 on the Billboard Charts and Home Alone was No. 1 at the box office.
Cincinnati collapsed and was outscored 20-0 in the second half. It was a total team meltdown, spearheaded by Andy Dalton. In fact, offensive disappearing acts in the second half are commonplace for Dalton’s Bengals in the postseason.
In Dalton’s three career playoff games, the Bengals have scored six points combined in the second half.
All told in Sunday’s AFC Wild Card, Dalton accounted for three turnovers and finished with a Passer Rating of 67.0 on 29/51 passing for 334 yards.
ANDY DALTON VS PHILIP RIVERS: PLAYOFF CAREER BY THE NUMBERS
Dalton: 0-3 reord, 1 TD, 6 INT
Rivers: 4-4 record, 9 TD, 9 INT, 1 rushing TD
On Sunday, Rivers was super-efficient. He completed 12/16 passes for 128 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT and 118.8 Passer Rating. He was comfortably in command and led the Chargers to a 20-0 second half lead that culminated with the 27-10 victory.
The 17 point loss marked the largest deficit at home for the Bengals at any point this season.
CINCINNATI SECOND HALF MELTDOWN EXTENDS PLAYOFF DROUGHT
The Bengals outscored opponents 62-0 in second quarter of their previous four home games and the trend carried over to Sunday, outscoring San Diego 10-0.
In the second half, however, Dalton turned it over three times with a fumble and two interceptions on back-to-back-to-back possessions. Even when he had A.J. Green open deep, he underthrew him and Green dropped the pass.
Call it the Dalton trifecta of turnovers or Marvin Lewis’ team pulling a “Marv Lewis”; the bottom line is Cincinnati hasn’t won a playoff game since January 1991.
Much like the Chiefs and their fans, the Bengals base can say their last playoff win came against a team from Houston which no longer exists.
This is not to take away from efforts of Mike McCoy’s team, a team which has historically fared better than most against Peyton Manning.
CHARGERS 2-0 VS PEYTON IN POSTSEASON
The Chargers have a 6-7 record against Peyton Manning teams. That mark includes a 2-0 record over Manning’s Colts in the postseason (2007, 2008).
In 2013, the Chargers and Broncos split the regular-season series: Denver won 28-20 in San Diego (Week 10); San Diego won 27-20 in Denver (Week 15).