4. Attack the Corners
Yes, this was also an aspect earlier in the season, but it still completely holds true. The Chargers are 29th against the pass and Andy Dalton has broken franchise records this year. AJ Green is one of the best receivers in the game, but also Marvin Jones has really come into his own.
The duo are actually the first Bengals to both have a 10+ touchdown season the same year. Not only that, but Andrew Hawkins has been returning to form and Mohamed Sanu has been getting better with using his body to catch and protect the ball as the year went on.
According to ProFootball Focus, Chargers cornerbacks Richard Marshall and Shareece Wright both rank outside of the top 100 for their position. Dalton threw for under 200 yards against the Chargers, but AJ Green hauled in five catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Depending on how the game goes, Dalton must not be afraid to trust in his players to air it out against this secondary. While he is not a corner, Eric Weddle has been inconsistent all year long but had a very good game against the Bengals. So Weddle may end up being the X factor for the Chargers defense.
November 18, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts after being sacked during the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
5. Get to Rivers
Philip Rivers is still one of the better quarterbacks in the league, so the Bengals must hit him early and often. In the first game, Rivers was sacked two times and hit five times, getting him off of his game.
The Bengals must bring the heat and try to beat DJ Fluker, a rookie who has has certainly been a huge addition to the team. He has opened up holes for the offense and displayed great hands when it comes to blocking.
Using safety and corner blitzes, the Bengals will have to get to Rivers quickly and force him into making mistakes. If the Bengals struggle to get to Rivers, he could end up tearing the defense apart as Zimmer tends to send extra rushers at the quarterback. It will be up to the speed of the defense to get to him.