TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 1, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium
Weather: High 73, Low 52
Line: San Diego (-1)
Just one week after a thrilling last-minute win over the one-loss Kansas City Chiefs, the San Diego Chargers are looking like a serious contender for a playoff spot — too bad they are in the toughest division out there right now. Philip Rivers is playing his best football in recent memory and the Chargers are one of the somewhat surprising teams in the NFL this season with a 5-6 record. Rivers has passed for 3,381 yards and 22 touchdowns on the year as Keenan Allen has been his favorite target, catching 50 passes for 737 yards and three scores. Ryan Matthews leads the rushing attack with 721 yards and three scores, leading the 17th-ranked rushing attack in the league.
The Cincinnati Bengals were once running away with the AFC North earlier in the season, but have since struggled a bit, watching their large lead crumble a bit as the rest of the division has perked up. Andy Dalton has not been as successful as many had hoped, passing for 2,954 yards and 21 touchdowns on the year while A.J. Green has flourished this season at wide out. Green leads the team in catches, 67, and yards receiving, 1,020, while ranking second on the team with six touchdowns — second only to Marvin Jones. Giovani Bernard has been one of the most successful rookie running backs in the league, rushing for 464 yards and four touchdowns, providing lightning to BenJarvus Green-Ellis‘ thunder-type run game.
Defensively, San Diego has not been all too impressive this season. The Chargers rank 29th in the league in yards allowed as well as 16th in points allowed per contest. Cincinnati has been a bit more impressive on the year, ranking sixth in the league in points allowed, seventh in total yards allowed and sixth in passing yards allowed.
PREDICTION: Bengals 31, Chargers 28