Last weekend was nice. Enjoy it, because this weekend is going to take a lot out of you.
The Bengals head to Qualcomm Stadium to play the San Diego Chargers next Sunday in a game that has ripple effects into the remainder of the season, the degree of which hopeful isn’t lost on anyone. The Wild Card scenery has thinned significantly, and as Cincinnatiprepares for the four time-zone shift, it’s important to keep in mind that records should not let this weekend’s match-up become taken for granted. While the Chargers have been on a skid, posting only two wins to Kansas Citysince Week 2, the caliber of their opponents should also be taken into account: Baltimore, New Orleans, Denver(twice), Atlantaand TampaBay. With that in mind, the Chargers’ defense is still 6th overall in the NFL against the run, something that will likely be an unwelcomed change of pace for Cincinnati’s running game after facing a Chiefs team who was ranked 27th and a Raiders squad that was 31st. Also, while San Diego allows opponents 243.3 passing yards a game, note the caliber of the quarterbacks listed above and give some credit where credit is due to the Bolts for maintaining 20th against the pass in the NFL. While the 4-7 Chargers could be considered lost for the season at this point, a few fortunate turns could have them as a miracle shot at the post season, but it would involve them winning out, which would have to start against the Bengals.