I had the Bengals as having the advantage here…until I looked at the stats. While comparable, I have to give the nod to the Chargers again. Ryan Mathews is healthy – for once – and being fairly productive (721 yards, 4.4 ypc, 3 TDs) and Danny Woodhead, like Bernard, gives the Chargers a dual-threat out of the backfield and has been one of the biggest weapons in 2013 (Run – 266 yards, 3.8 ypc, 2 TDs; Pass – 59 receptions, 469 yards, 5 TDS). In total, Mathews and Woodhead have accounted for 1,550, 11 TDs and 71 receptions.
For the Bengals, Giovani Bernard is a candidate for Offensive ROY, and like Woodhead, provides a punch in both the running game and passing game (Run – 464 yards, 4.4 ypc, 4 TDs; Pass – 42 receptions, 345 yards and 3 TDs). However, BJGE is having a down year (522 yards, 3.3 ypc, 3 TD) and contributes nothing to the passing game (2 receptions, 9 yards). In total, the Bengals running backs have accounted for 1,340 yards, 44 receptions and 10 TDs. While Bernard will be the most dynamic and most all-around back on the field on Sunday, the weak season of BJGE gives the Chargers the slight advantage here.
After three relatively small advantages for the Chargers (QB, OL and RB), here is where the Bengals have their first advantage, and it is a big advantage. AJ Green is 3rd in the NFL with 1,020 yards and the Bengals top 2 receivers (Green and Jones) have accounted for 97 receptions, 1,466 yards and 13 TDs. Add in Sanu, and the Bengals have gotten 133 receptions, 1,819 yards and 14 TDs from their top 3 receivers.
The Chargers, on the other hand, are led by rookie Keenan Allen (50 receptions, 737 yards, 3 TDS) and veteran slot receiver Eddie Royal (34 receptions, 484 yards, 7 TDs). Though their numbers are ok, they lack that dominant receiver like Green. As a group, the Chargers top 3 receivers have accounted for 116 receptions, 1,555 yards and 11 TDs. Not bad, but not as good as the Bengals.