Dalton went 17 of 34 for 170 yards with two interceptions, a fumble and three sacks in the second half. In first-round playoff losses each of the past three seasons, Dalton has thrown one touchdown pass and six interceptions.
“We kept Andy on his heels and got him off his spot,” Weddle said. “We hit him a bunch and forced big turnovers.”
He wasn’t the only one with a big gaffe. Rookie running back Giovani Bernard fumbled at the San Diego 3-yard line after a catch in the first half.
Rivers completed a team-record and NFL-best 69.5 percent of his passes this season for 4,478 yards. He was only 5 of 6 in the first half for 48 yards with San Diego frequently backed inside its 20-yard line to start drives.
He completed all of his six passes during a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter that put the Chargers ahead to stay, with his 4-yard pass to Ladarius Green giving San Diego a 14-10 lead.
Dalton then made the mistakes that turned the game, allowing the Chargers to pull ahead. Ronnie Brown finished it off with a 58-yard touchdown run, the longest TD run against the Bengals in their playoff history.
Notes: It was San Diego’s first playoff win since a 23-17 overtime victory over the Colts in 2008 and its first road playoff win in an open-air stadium since a 17-13 victory in Pittsburgh for the 1994 AFC title. ... The Chargers ran for a season-high 196 yards. They’ve rushed for at least 144 yards in each of their past five games. ... Marvin Jones caught eight passes for 130 yards, a Bengals playoff record. A.J. Green was limited to three catches for 34 yards.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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