Chargers KOed by Palmer, Bengals
CINCINNATI — Carson Palmer's near-perfect showing left San Diego out in the cold.
Palmer threw four touchdowns in swirling snow — two to Jerome Simpson — and the Bengals snapped the Chargers' streak of four playoff appearances.
The Chargers froze up in their coldest game in nearly three years, self-destructing on a raw, windy evening. The loss gave the AFC West title to Kansas City.
"Words can't really explain how we feel right now," San Diego safety Eric Weddle said. "Our season is done. It's probably the worst feeling you can have."
Palmer, a Southern California kid, led Cincinnati with a cast of reserve receivers. His 59-yard TD to Simpson — playing in place of the injured Chad Ochocinco — highlighted a 21-point fourth quarter against the league's top-ranked defense. Palmer had a career-best rating of 157.2 despite also missing injured star Terrell Owens. Former Jefferson High and Florida star Andre Caldwell had four catches for 87 yards.