Jeff Triplette and his crew were able to stay incognito for nearly a half.
But you knew it couldn’t last.
The Bengals benefitted from a long review of a completed pass just before halftime, getting a 46-yard field goal from Mike Nugent for a 10-7 halftime lead over the Chargers.
After review, Jermaine Gresham was ruled to have controlled a reception before his forward progress stopped, allowing the Bengals to sneak the field goal in (though there was some confusion about the time on the clock).
That capped a solid second quarter from the Bengals, after the Chargers took the early lead.
Though it took him nearly 10 postseason quarters, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton finally threw his first playoff touchdown in the second, hitting Gresham from 4 yards out.
Dalton threw four interceptions and no touchdowns in his first two postseason appearances, both Bengals losses.
He nearly had his second, but Giovani Bernard fumbled into the end zone just before the break, and the Chargers recovered.
The biggest news might be that referee Triplette has had three chances to review plays, and hasn’t egregiously screwed any one of them up.
That stands as progress in Cincinnati, and a good sign for the second half.