NFL PLAYOFF PREVIEW: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AFC WEST (9-7) AT CINCINNATI BENGALSÃ¢??AFC NOR
December 31, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
TEAMS MEET for 2nd time in postseason.
CHARGERS: 1st postseason appearance since 2009…Have won 4 consecutive games, longest active streak in AFC…QB PHILIP RIVERS (4,478) is 6th player in NFL history to register 5 4,000-yard seasons. Has passed for 32,369 career passing yards & 254 TD passes, trailing only HOFer DAN FOUTS for most in Chargers history. In 3 career postseason road games, Rivers has completed 54 of 91 passes (59.3 pct.) for 783 yards with 6 TDs vs. 4 INTs & 91 passer rating. In last road postseason game (at Pit. on 1/11/09), Rivers completed 21 of 35 passes (60 pct.) for 308 yards with 3 TDs vs. 1 INT & 105.4 passer rating. Has completed 51 of 76 passes (67.1 pct.) for 594 yards with 4 TDs vs. 1 INT & 102.6 rating in 2 career reg. season games at Cin…RB RYAN MATHEWS (1,255) became 1st Charger to reach 1,200 rush yards since LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON in 2007 (1,474). Led AFC with 534 rush yards in December. Totaled 92 scrimmage yards (61 rush, 31 receiving) in last game vs. Bengals. RB DANNY WOODHEAD ranked 2nd in NFL in receptions (76) & receiving yards (605) among RBs in 2013…TE ANTONIO GATES (77 catches, 872 receiving yards) posted 6th season of career with at least 70 catches & 800 receiving yards. Gates had 8 catches for 93 yards in last postseason game (1/17/10 vs. NYJ)…Rookie WR KEENAN ALLEN (71 catches for 1,046) has most receptions & receiving yards by Chargers rookie. Allen had 8 catches for 106 yards (13.3 avg.) in last game vs. Bengals. Has 5 TDs in past 4 games. Led NFL rookies in catches & receiving yards. WR EDDIE ROYAL had career-high 8 TD receptions this season…TE LADARIUS GREEN posted career-best 3rd TD catch of season last week. Averages 22.1 yards per catch in 2013…S ERIC WEDDLE leads club with 103 tackles in 2013. Has 2 sacks in past 2 playoffs games. Weddle had INT & FR in last game against Cin.
BENGALS: Club has reached postseason for 5th time under head coach MARVIN LEWIS (2005, 2009, 2011-2013). Reached postseason in 3 straight seasons for 1st time in franchise history. Bengals aim for 1st postseason win since 1/6/91 against Houston Oilers (Wild Card)…Clinched 1st AFC North title since 2009…Club posted 8-0 record at home for 1st time since 1988…Have won 9 consecutive home games dating back to 2012…Offense has 73.9 TD pct. inside 20 this season, 2nd-best in NFL…QB ANDY DALTON passed for 4,296 yards with 33 TD passes in 2013, most in single-season in team history. Cin. is 15-1 (.938) when Dalton has 100+ rating. Dalton is 30-18 (.625) as starter, highest all-time win pct. by Bengals QB (min. 20 starts). Is 2-0 against Chargers. Dalton totaled 20 TDs vs. 9 INTs & 98.4 passer rating at home this season…RB GIOVANI BERNARD (1,209) is 1st Bengals rookie RB to reach 1,000 scrimmage yards since COREY DILLON in 1997 (1,388). RB BEN JARVUS GREEN-ELLIS has rushed for 246 yards on 58 carries in 5 career postseason games…WR A.J. GREEN (260) surpassed ANQUAN BOLDIN (259) for most catches in 1st 3 seasons of career in NFL history. Green (3,833) has 2nd-most receiving yards in 1st 3 seasons of career in NFL history, trailing only RANDY MOSS (4,163). Green is 1st WR to be selected to Pro Bowl in each of his 1st 3 seasons since Randy Moss. Has 14 catches for 168 yards with 1 TD in 2 career games vs. SD. WRs Green (11) & MARVIN JONES (10) combined for 21 TD receptions…Defense allowed 19.1 points per game in 2013, tied for fewest in AFC…LB VONTAZE BURFICT led team with 171 tackles in 2013....DE WALLACE GILBERRY had career-high 7.5 sacks this season…CB TERENCE NEWMAN has played in 6 career postseason games (5 with Dal, 1 with Cin.). CB DRE KIRKPATRICK had career-best 2 INTs last week, incl. 21-yard INT-return TD. Had INT in last game vs. SD…Club had 2 players selected to 2013 Pro Bowl (LB Burfict, WR Green).