Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones had his best day as a professional Sunday, but it wasn’t nearly enough to offset the worst feeling of his young career.
Jones tied his career high with eight receptions and set a personal and franchise record with 130 receiving yards, but none of it meant much following a 27-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers in an AFC Wild-Card game at Paul Brown Stadium.
“I don’t really care about the stats,” Jones said. “We fell short. This hurts.”
The eight catches tied the career high he set Oct. 27 against the New York Jets, and the 130 yards surpassed the 122 he had in that same game when he set a franchise record with four touchdown receptions.
He added his name to the team record book again Sunday by breaking Cris Collinsworth’s mark of 120 receiving yards in a playoff game.
“They played us different from last time,” said Jones, who only had two catches for 12 yards in a 17-10 win in San Diego five weeks ago. “There was a lot of opportunity there.”
A.J. Green drew a lot of double coverage, opening things up for Jones. Green finished with just three catches for 34 yards. Green has 13 catches in three playoff games, tying him with Isaac Curtis for third place in team history behind Dan Ross (28) and Collinsworth (21).
Jones also tied Collinsworth for the third-longest reception in Bengals postseason play with a 49-yarder in the second quarter.
Dubious distinction: The two interceptions Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw Sunday give him six in three playoff games, tying Ken Anderson’s franchise record.
Anderson was 110-for-166 for 1,321 yards with nine touchdowns, six interceptions and a 93.3 passer rating in six playoff games.
Dalton is 70-of-123 for 718 yards with one touchdown, six interceptions and a 56.2 rating.
An illustration of just how barren Bengals postseason success has been is the fact that Dalton moved into a tie for third place in team history with one career playoff touchdown pass.
It came in the second quarter when he hit tight end Jermaine Gresham with a 4-yarder that tied the score at 7-7.
Run down: The Bengals entered the game with the No. 2-ranked rush defense in the AFC, but San Diego rolled up 196 yards on 40 carries for an average of 4.9 yards per attempt.
The Chargers played most of the second half without starting tailback Ryan Mathews, who only had one carry after halftime. But Danny Woodhead rushed for 54 yards and Ronnie Brown had a team-high 77. Mathews gained 52 yards on 13 carries.
“I think the way we’ve run the football the last month was something coming into the game,” San Diego head coach Mike McCoy said. “We know playing the Cincinnati Bengals, what kind of a team they are. We knew it was going to be a slugfest from the very first snap all the way through the game. Very physical team.”
It was the opposite of what happened when the team’s met Dec. 1 in San Diego. The Bengals pushed the Chargers around that day for 164 yards, 1 shy of their season high.
“We challenged our football team coming into the game to understand, hey, this is what happened to us last time, this is the way we played last time,” McCoy said. “They got the best of us from time-to-time up front. We challenged everybody up front — actually the whole entire football team — that going on the road in a playoff game is not going to be easy.”