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Chargers rally from 21 down to beat Bengals 49-41

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/recap;_ylt=An_CKDsv0BdLJR3FWFXDRek5nYcB?gid=20061112004">Associated Press</a>

    <img width="323" height="229" alt="CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 12: LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers score his fourth touchdown of the game ahead of Johnathan Joseph #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL game on November 12, 2006 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Chargers won 49-41. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)" title="CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 12: LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers score his fourth touchdown of the game ahead of Johnathan Joseph #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL game on November 12, 2006 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Chargers won 49-41. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)" src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/sp/getty/c7/full.getty-71465394jm019_san_diego_cha_4_56_38_pm.jpg" />

    By Joe Kay

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- LaDainian Tomlinson tied his career high with four touchdowns, and Philip Rivers threw a touchdown pass under pressure that completed the Chargers' furious rally Sunday for a 49-41 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

    For Rivers, it was the type of comeback that defines a quarterback. For both teams, it was the kind of game that could define a season.

    San Diego (7-2) scored 42 points in a second-half comeback that was characteristic of their old Air Coryell days. Instead of Dan Fouts, it was a first-year starter running the show in his best performance yet.

    Bengals receiver Chad Johnson set a club record with 260 yards and a pair of long touchdowns, and Carson Palmer had the first 400-yard passing game of his career. It didn't matter because Cincinnati (4-5) was helpless to stop the Chargers' two offensive stars in the second half.

    Rivers was 24-of-36 for 337 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Chargers to their best point total in 20 years. He had a lot of help from Tomlinson, who ran for a pair of touchdowns during a pivotal 15-second span of the fourth quarter.

    In the end, it came down to one nifty play by Rivers, who rolled left to avoid the rush and threw a 5-yard shovel pass to tight end Brandon Manumaleuna in the end zone just as he was getting leveled by two pass rushers with 2:29 to play.

    How good was Rivers? San Diego scored touchdowns on seven of its last eight possessions, not counting a pair of run-out-the-clock moments.

    How good is Tomlinson? He has 15 touchdowns in the last five games. On Sunday, he ran for 104 yards and had a team-high six catches for 54 more.

    The Bengals had one final chance to tie it with a touchdown and 2-point conversion, but Palmer threw to a covered Glenn Holt on fourth-and-10 from the Chargers 15-yard line with 44 seconds to go.

    Players on the Chargers' sideline raised their arms in glee when Palmer's throw missed its mark. San Diego has won three in a row for the first time this season, led by the league's highest-scoring offense and a defense that had been stout until Sunday.

    San Diego seemed disinterested in the first half, when Palmer completed his first nine passes and got the Bengals up 28-7.

    The second half was a different story. A Chargers defense missing linebacker Shawne Merriman -- serving a four-game suspension for a failed drug test -- finally started playing up to its stingy standards.

    Palmer finished 31-of-42 for 440 yards, the first 400-yard game by a Bengals quarterback since Jon Kitna in 2001. Johnson, who has groused about his limited role this season, had a season-high 11 catches, including touchdowns of 51 and 74 yards.

    Both teams had notable injuries. Cincinnati cornerback Deltha O'Neal missed much of the second half after landing hard on his shoulder, and receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh was knocked groggy by safety Marlon McCree in the fourth quarter. McCree was called for pass interference.

    The Chargers lost Eric Parker to a neck injury in the first half, but kept going without their third-leading receiver.
     

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