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NFL Week 1 Primer: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Everything you need to know for when the Bengals start their season at home against the Chargers.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The NFL season is finally here. For months, Joe Burrow has been labeled as the savior of a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game in three decades. Now, Bengals fans will finally get to see their rookie quarterback in live game action.

He won’t be doing it alone, though. Wide receiver A.J. Green will be making his return to the field after missing nearly a year-and-a-half’s worth of games due to injury. He will be lining up with Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon to make Burrow’s life a little more bearable during such an uncertain season.

On the opposite side of the field, the Los Angeles Chargers will also have a new face at quarterback after moving on from their previous franchise player. They may not be fielding Justin Herbert quite yet, but Tyrod Taylor is a veteran quarterback surrounded by some incredible talent on offense. Their defense, led by pass rusher Joey Bosa, also isn’t going to make it easy on Cincinnati. They have a talented secondary focused on making Burrow’s debut look as bad as possible.

Which team going through a major change at quarterback will be able to start off the season and new decade on the right foot?

Everything you need to know for when the Bengals take on the Chargers:

Game: Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) vs Los Angeles Chargers (0-0)

Date/Time: Sep. 13th, 2019 at 4:05 p.m. EST

Location: Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio

Series Leader: The Chargers lead the series 20-14

Streak: The Bengals have won four of the past five meetings

Watch the game online with a free trial of fuboTV.

Coaches vs. Opponent: Zac Taylor: 0-0. Anthony Lynn (1-0)

Television: The game will air on CBS-TV. In the Bengals’ home region, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Ch. 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Ch. 27) in Lexington. Broadcasters are Kevin Harlan (play-byplay), Trent Green (analyst) and Melanie Collins (sideline reporter).

Radio Broadcast: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst). WLW-AM (700) will join the flagship stations in broadcasting the Bengals game once its broadcast of the Cincinnati Reds game concludes (the Reds game begins at 2:15 p.m. Eastern).

The game also will air nationally on Sports USA Radio, with broadcasters Larry Kahn (play-by-play) and Hank Bauer (analyst).

SB Nation Chargers’ site: Bolts from the Blue

Weather: Mid 80’s, mostly cloudy [NFL weather]

Odds: Bengals, +3.5 [Odds Shark]

Bengals Notes

  • Quarterback Joe Burrow was selected with the first overall pick in 2020 NFL Draft, joining Cam Newton (Carolina in 2011) as only the only quarterbacks to win the Heisman Trophy, National Championship and be selected first overall in same calendar year in the common draft era.
  • Running back Joe Mixon rushed for 1,137 yards and five touchdowns last season, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. He had 138 yards from scrimmage (111 rushing and 27 receiving) and a rushing touchdown in the last meeting. Mixon aims for his fourth game in a row against an AFC West team with at least 100 yards from scrimmage and a rushing touchdown. He had 772 scrimmage yards (96.5 per game) in eight home games last season. Running back Giovani Bernard rushed for 123 yards in the last home meeting with the Chargers.
  • Wide receiver A.J. Green aims for his third game in a row against the Chargers with a receiving touchdown. He has at least 50 receiving yards in five of his past six games against the AFC West. Wide receiver Tyler Boyd set career highs in catches (90) and receiving yards (1,046) last season. It was his second consecutive season with 1,000 receiving yards. Boyd had 52 receiving yards in the last game against the Chargers. Wide receiver Tee Higgins was selected in second round (33rd overall) of 2020 NFL Draft. Tight end C.J. Uzomah aims for his third game in a row with a touchdown catch. He has at least five catches in two of his past three games at home.
  • Defensive end Carlos Dunlap led the Bengals with nine sacks last season. He is one of two players in the NFL (Cameron Jordan) with at least seven sacks in each of the past seven seasons. He has a sack and a forced fumble in two of his past three games. Dunlap aims for his seventh game in a row with a pass deflection. He has 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in five career games against the Chargers. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins had a sack in the last home meeting with the Chargers. He aims for his third game in a row against the AFC West with a sack. Safety Jessie Bates led the team with a career-high nine pass deflections and three interceptions last season.

Chargers Notes

  • Quarterback Tyrod Taylor appeared in four games last season. He has at least a passer rating of 100 in two of his past four games against an AFC North team. Quarterback Justin Herbert was selected with the sixth overall pick in 2020 NFL Draft.
  • Running back Austin Ekeler had a career-high 1,550 yards from scrimmage yards (993 receiving and 557 rushing) last season to go along with 11 touchdowns (eight of which were receiving the most by an NFL running back). He ranked second among running backs with 92 catches. He also had a rushing touchdown in his last meeting with the Bengals. Ekeler had 819 scrimmage yards (102.4 per game) and eight touchdowns in eight road games last season.
  • Wide receiver Keenan Allen had career-high 104 catches for 1,199 receiving yards and six touchdowns last season. He is one of three players in the NFL (DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas) with at least 95 catches in each of past three seasons. He aims for his eighth game in a row with at least five catches. Allen had five catches for 78 yards and a touchdown in the last meeting with Cincinnati. Wide receiver Mike Williams set career highs in catches (49) and receiving yards (1,001) last season. Allen and Williams were one of two AFC duos (Cleveland’s Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry) to each have at least 1,000 receiving yards last season. Tight end Hunter Henry set career highs in catches (55) and receiving yards (652) last season. He aims for his third game in a row against the AFC North with at least 80 receiving yards.
  • Defensive end Joey Bosa led the Chargers with 11.5 sacks last season, his third career season with at least 10 sacks. He had a sack in the last meeting with Cincinnati. Defensive end Melvin Ingram had seven sacks, five pass deflections and an interception last season. Cornerback Chris Harris makes his Chargers debut after a nine-year career with the Broncos. Cornerback Casey Hayward had eight passes deflected and two interceptions last season.

Bengals history against Chargers

Date Visitor Home Result
Date Visitor Home Result
12/09/2018 Cincinnati Bengals Los Angeles Chargers L
09/20/2015 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals W
01/05/2014 * San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/01/2013 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers W
12/02/2012 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers W
12/26/2010 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals W
12/20/2009 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L
11/12/2006 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
11/23/2003 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers W
09/08/2002 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
09/30/2001 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L
09/19/1999 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
11/02/1997 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals W
09/08/1996 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L
09/11/1994 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L
12/13/1992 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L
09/16/1990 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers W
12/04/1988 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals W
10/04/1987 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
09/22/1985 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/20/1982 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L
01/10/1982 † San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals W
11/08/1981 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers W
11/02/1980 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
11/11/1979 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
11/05/1978 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L
10/02/1977 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L
12/21/1975 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals W
09/22/1974 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
09/30/1973 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers W
11/28/1971 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals W
12/06/1970 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers W
10/04/1969 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L
09/21/1969 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals W
09/29/1968 San Diego Chargers Cincinnati Bengals L
09/06/1968 Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers L