But they got to win Sunday. A stark contrast to the favorable situation alluded to above, a loss against the Chargers drops the Bengals to 6-6, which at best, keeps them tied with the Steelers. At worst, Pittsburgh pulls a win against Baltimore and moves decisively ahead of Cincinnati, which would fully turns the tables and puts all of Cincinnati’s hopes on winning out through that penultimate game in Three Rivers.
In the immediate forecasting, San Diego’s running game is weak sauce and should be able to be contained, leaving the Bengals to devise an aggressive pass-rush defense and smothering cover against Philip Rivers and his two favorite targets, Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates. Also the Bengals are going to need to big games from the young guys of the offensive line, Kevin Zeitler, Clint Boling and Trevor Robinson; in order to establish the run early and set up the play-action. If BenJarvus Green-Ellis is for real, then this game should be a put away, but if the offense becomes aerial only, then this could very quickly turn into a trap for Cincinnati.
While every given Sunday is important, this weekend is very much so. A great deal depends upon the QueenCity’s next trip to the West Coast.