The Cincinnati Bengals won 20-13 Sunday in San Diego for their fourth consecutive victory, knocking the Chargers all the way down to 4-8. Cincinnati is 7-5 and right in the mix for an AFC wild-card spot despite a day of missed opportunities.
The Bengals tried to give this game to San Diego. They turned over the ball three times in the first three quarters. Andy Dalton missed wide-open A.J. Green for potential touchdowns on two different occasions. But the Bengals' defense wouldn't let the Chargers pull away. San Diego didn't score after halftime. Six of the Chargers' final eight drives went for 8 yards or less. Yikes.
"It's not like the effort isn't there," Turner said after the game. "Everyone is putting in the full effort. The guys are playing just about as good as they can play right now. We just need to make some plays in the critical situations.
We still have our doubts that the Bengals can beat a quality opponent like the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens in a big spot, but their defense gives them a chance. After early struggles, their pass rush and secondary have come on strong. They give Dalton a chance in the fourth quarter each week.
When that fourth quarter is against the Chargers, it's just too easy to predict what the outcome will be.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.