The Bengals begin the 2015 season with consecutive AFC West opponents. First it was the 33-13 destruction of the Oakland Raiders. Now in Week 2, the Bengals face off against Philip Rivers and the Chargers.
The Bengals had won three straight matchups against the Chargers before their playoff debacle in January of 2014.
Interestingly, this will be their first game in the last eight, to take place before November. Not relevant, but interesting nonetheless.
Their two most recent games both took place in the 2013 season. First, the Bengals defeated the Chargers 17-10 in San Diego in a December meeting. Heading into the playoffs, the Bengals would again face the Chargers, this time at home. They weren't able to keep up the momentum from their win on the road just weeks earlier and stumbled to a 27-10 home loss in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
In both of those games, whoever dominated the rushing game, won the game. In the first matchup, which the Bengals won, the Bengals ran for 164 yards on 38 attempts. In the second matchup, which was a Chargers' victory, the Chargers churned out 196 yards on 40 attempts.
In the regular season game, with the running game struggling for the Chargers, Rivers attempted 37 passes, compared to only 23 for Dalton. But in the playoff game, that role was flipped. Dalton aired it out 51 times with two interceptions, while Rivers completed an efficient 12 of 16 passes for one touchdown and no interceptions.
Sunday's game should see both teams ready for action once again as each team is coming off of wins in Week 1 and only one team will leave Paul Brown Stadium 2-0.