Palmer found Jerome Simpson with two of his scoring strikes -- a 10-yarder in the second quarter and a 59-yard bomb in the final stanza -- going 16-of-21 passing for 269 yards in the Bengals' win.
Phillip Rivers connected on 27-of-40 pass attempts for 256 yards, one score and an interception for the Chargers (8-7), whose streak of four straight AFC West titles came to an end.
The Kansas City Chiefs (10-5) secured the division crown with the Chargers' loss.
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