Rivers tops Fouts for TDs; Chargers fall to Bengals 24-19
Sep 20, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks on from the sidelines in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 24-19.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Philip Rivers topped Dan Fouts for career touchdown passes and finished with the third-longest completion streak in NFL history.
One interception was the moment that stuck with him most.
Rivers’ final pass was intercepted at midfield with 53 seconds left on Sunday, allowing the Cincinnati Bengals to close out a 24-19 win over the San Diego Chargers.
That throw overshadowed those other, historic moments.
"It’s humbling to think about," said Rivers, who was 21 of 27 for 241 yards. "It’s not as sweet right now because we lost the game. Once I’ve had a chance to take a deep breath and look back, I’ll be thankful."
The Chargers (1-1) had a chance at the end, but linebacker Vinny Rey made an acrobatic interception at midfield, holding onto the ball with one hand as he hit the ground hard.
"Any time Philip has the ball — especially in that situation — I feel he’s going to take us down the field," said running back Melvin Gordon, who had 88 yards on 16 carries.
Rivers brought a streak of 20 straight completions into the game, four shy of Donovan McNabb’s NFL record. He completed his first two throws, and then was high with a third-down pass to Stevie Johnson.
Rivers’ streak set a Chargers record and tied for third-longest in NFL history.
He threw a 10-yard touchdown pass early in the second half, the 255th of his career that moved him ahead of Dan Fouts for the club record. Fouts was at Paul Brown Stadium as a television analyst.
Rivers added a 40-yard touchdown to Malcom Floyd with 4:20 left, cutting it to 24-19. He couldn’t get them into the end zone one more time.
"It’s hard to sit up here and say we got better this week because we lost," Rivers said. "I think we’ll be better in the next 15 weeks, which is really what matters."
San Diego returned to the site of its only playoff victory of the past six years — a first-round win during the 2013 season. Giovani Bernard had a fumble in that one, and Andy Dalton had three second-half turnovers. The tandem made the big plays this time.
Dalton threw three touchdown passes, each to a different receiver, as the Bengals improved to 2-0. Bernard took over as the running back after Jeremy Hill lost two fumbles and finished with 123 yards.
Dalton finished 16 of 26 for 214 yards. In wins over the Raiders and Chargers, he’s gone 41 of 60 for 483 yards with five touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks.
Both teams missed a field goal and fumbled twice. Keenan Allen fumbled a punt on the Bengals’ opening series. Two plays later, Dalton threw 16 yards to A.J. Green for a touchdown. Dalton also had a 45-yard TD to Marvin Jones.
Notes: Peyton Manning completed 23 straight passes for the NFL’s second-longest streak. Joe Montana, Mark Brunell, David Carr and Matt Ryan had also streaks of 22 completions along with Rivers. … Rivers’ 2 TD passes moved him ahead of Sonny Jurgensen into 14th on the all-time list with 256. … The Bengals benefited from a review late in the first half. Dalton was hit by Manti Te’o as his arm started forward, resulting in a fumble that Jerry Attaochu returned for a touchdown. After a review, it was ruled an incompletion, and the Bengals took a 14-6 lead into halftime.