This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
San Diego • All Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals had to do was bide their time against the San Diego Chargers.
Sure enough, the Chargers forked over another fourth-quarter lead.
Dalton scrambled up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:11 left for the go-ahead score and the Cincinnati Bengals won their fourth straight game, 20-13 over the staggering San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
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.
The Bengals (7-5) remained tied with Pittsburgh in the race for the AFC's second wild-card berth.
The Steelers and Bengals are two games behind the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens, who lost to Pittsburgh.
The Chargers were shut out in the second half after taking a 13-10 halftime lead.
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.
Denver won the AFC West with a 31-23 victory against Tampa Bay.
Philip Rivers had two turnovers in the final 3:54.
On the first Chargers' possession after Dalton's TD, 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 Reggie Nelson on fourth-and-10 from the Bengals 17 with 49 seconds left.
The Bengals overcame three turnovers, including two interceptions by Dalton. One of them was returned 31 yards for a touchdown by Demorrio Williams.
The Bengals took the game's opening kickoff and moved 91 yards, capped by Dalton's 19-yard pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham for a 7-0 lead.
Dalton threw an incompletion on fourth-and-9 from the Chargers 35, but Chargers cornerback Shareece Wright was called for holding and the drive continued at the San Diego 30.
The Chargers had a nice drive of their own and had a first-and-goal from the Bengals 7.
But Rivers fumbled when he was hit going back to pass. Tight end Antonio Gates recovered at the 16. The Chargers reached the 2-yard line but had to take Nick Novak's 20-yard field goal that pulled them to 7-3.
Two plays into the next Bengals drive, Williams intercepted Dalton and returned it 31 yards down the left sideline to give the Chargers a 10-7 lead. It was Williams' second interception returned for a touchdown this season.
The Bengals drove deep on the Chargers again and had a first-and-goal on the 5. A.J. Green was wide open in the end zone but Dalton overthrew him. BenJarvus Green-Ellis gained 4 yards to the 1, but an incomplete pass forced the Bengals to settle for Nugent's 19-yard field goal and a 10-10 tie.
San Diego made it to the Bengals 1 with a second before halftime and had to settle for Novak's 19-yard field goal for a 13-10 lead.