San Diego struggled against both teams wearing striped uniforms last weekend.
They couldn't best the Bengals -- or the group of referees that pointed out costly penalty after costly penalty in their 24-19 loss.
"Too many penalties at critical times in the game," head coach Mike McCoy told Ricky Henne of Chargers.com. "it's tough to win and beat a good football team (like that)."
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McCoy's team was penalized eight times for 64 yards. Each new flag was more ill-timed and backbreaking than the next.
Take Jason Verrett's 15-yard facemask call on 3rd-and-11 in the second quarter. It gave Andy Dalton a first down; the quarterback took a 45-yard touchdown when he hit Marvin Jones on the very next play.
The Bengals received similar gifts on second half illegal contact, unsportsmanlike conduct, and unnecessary roughness calls. Each flag extended their opponents' stalling drive.
McCoy knows his team won't earn a tough road win playing that brand of sloppy football.
"Those are avoidable penalties," McCoy said. "There's going to be a holding penalty; that's going to happen. But those types of penalties, those are dumb penalties if you ask me."