This Week VS Last Week

Last Week the Bengals snapped a 10-game losing streak by winning the battle of Ohio and preventing a season in which the Bengals get swept by the Browns. Terrell Owens went down early in the game with a torn Meniscus and the Bengals offense took a trip back to 2009 in their time machine. They fed the rock to Cedric Benson 31 times and Benson carried that rock for 150 yards and into the end zone once. The Bengals won 19-17.

This Week the Bengals have a chance to really rain on San Diego's parade. If the Bengals win (and the Chiefs do too), they could possibly knock the Chargers out of the playoffs. Just because the Bengals have a snowball's chance in Hell to go to the playoffs doesn't mean that they can't still be considered Dream Crushers. That could possibly be the best mascot name in the NFL. Doesn't the Cincinnati Dream Crushers just sound awesome? Maybe the Grim Reaper could be the mascot. I'll run it by the Brown family.

Anyway, let's see how the Dream Crushers match up against the Chargers compared to how they did against the Browns.

Philip Rivers VS Colt McCoy:

Rivers has the second most passing yards in the NFL behind Peyton Manning. So....

Winner: Phillip Rivers

There isn't really a question about it.

What the Bengals need to do:

The young quarterback killing duo of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins need to do what they have been doing over recent weeks, get to Rivers and make him pay for stepping on Paul Brown's field. Other than that the secondary needs to do as good of a job as they can to make sure that Vincent Jackson doesn't do to them what he did to the 49ers last week or what he did to the Bengals last time they played (108 yards and 2 touchdowns).

Chargers Running Game VS Browns Running Game:

The Jets have found a use for LaDainian Tomlinson, why couldn't the Chargers? The Jets have the No. 6 ranked rushing offense; the Chargers are ranked No. 14, averaging 113 yards per game. Still, that's better than the Browns who come in at No. 18, averaging 107.2 yards per game.

Winner: San Diego Chargers

Even though I think Peyton Hillis is the best back between the two teams, I'm picking the Chargers because they have greater depth at the running back position and the passing game prevents the defense from stacking the box too often.

What the Bengals need to do:

The Bengals need to do the same thing that they did to Hillis last week -- hold him to 59 yards and keep him out of end zone. If they can do that, they may be able to surprise the Chargers.

Chargers Receivers VS Browns Receivers:

The Receivers have a guy named Vincent Jackson on their payroll. They also employ a guy named Antonio Gates. The Browns do not have either of those guys on their roster. Therefor....

Winner: Chargers Receivers

Not only is Jackson getting back into the swing of things but Antonio Gates has made a habit of ravaging most secondaries as well as my fantasy team (stupid Antonio Gates). Both of these guys, if left open (or even if they're covered), have the power to make the Bengals secondary look like they belong on a junior high field. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Malcom Floyd plays for the Chargers too.

What the Bengals need to do:

The first step to the Bengals being able to stop Jackson, Gates and Floyd is the pass rush. If the Bengals can make sure that Rivers is never really comfortable in the pocket, they will help the secondary out in the monumental task of making sure that the Chargers version of Cerberus (the three headed dog that guards the gates of Hades for all you normal, non-nerd people) doesn't completely kill them. If Mike Zimmer can dial up some plays that pressure Rivers, the Bengals beat up secondary may be able to contain San Diego's receivers.

Chargers Defense VS Browns Defense:

The Chargers are ranked first in passing defense and second in rushing defense. The Browns are not ranked in the top-10 in either of these categories.

Winner: Chargers defense

Once again, no question about it.

What the Bengals need to do:

It will be interesting to see if the Bengals stick with the same We-Don't-Have-TO-Anymore playbook that they used against the Browns. Considering that the Chargers are ranked second against the run, it may be a mistake to give the ball to Benson on every play, especially if they plan on running off the tackle... on..... every.... play.

However, considering that the Chargers have the first ranked passing offense, it may be a mistake to air it out.

So, what the Bengals need to do is just do what they've done all season. The only difference is that to beat the Chargers, they're going to have to do it well.

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