Photo by CBS Sports
Woodhead, center, heads for paydirt
Photo by CBS Sports
Danny Woodhead scored his ninth touchdown of the season Sunday for the San Diego Chargers, as the Chargers upset the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 and advanced to the second round of the NFL playoffs. The surging Chargers, 9-7, won the last four games of the regular season to earn a wild-card spot. This playoff win avenges a loss six weeks ago to the Bengals, who won the AFC north division.
It was Cincinnati's first loss at home this season. Quarterback Andy Dalton had three turnovers in the second half, sealing the Bengals' fate.
Woodhead scored the first touchdown of the game, sprinting through a seam up the middle for five yards to pay dirt.
For a video of the play, click HERE.
Woodhead, the mighty mite from North Platte, caught a pass earlier on the drive for an 11 yard gain on a busted play. That gain was good for a first down at the 7 yard line.
Woodhead also carried three times in the opening drive of the third quarter, helping the Chargers to a go-ahead-for-good touchdown.
“We practiced all week with the idea of coming in here to win,” Woodhead told WEEI-FM after the game. “We were underdogs. If people are shocked, they’re shocked. There’s nothing we can do about that. Our job was to go out there and execute.”
In the game, Woodhead rushed 15 times for 54 yards and caught two passes for 14 yards. The North Platte native, who stands just 5-feet, 8-inches tall, has become one of the top receiving-running backs in the NFL.
His 605 receiving yards in the regular season were fourth-best on the Chargers team.
He was second on the team in rushing with 429 yards in the regular season, sharing time with Ryan Mathews, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards.
Woodhead has now made the playoffs in each of his first five seasons in the NFL.
As a rookie in 2009, he was on the New York Jets team that made it to the AFC Championship game.
In 2010, Woodhead made the playoffs in his first season with the New England Patriots.
In 2011, he helped the Patriots get to the Super Bowl, where he caught a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in a loss to the New York Giants.
In 2012, the Patriots went to the AFC championship game before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
Next, San Diego will face the powerful Denver Broncos next Sunday. Kickoff is at 3:40 p.m. central time.