Dec 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is brought down by San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget (94, right) and outside linebacker Shaun Phillips (95) during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Open Thread: Bengals @ Chargers

Well, here we are again. Almost exactly one year ago to the day, the San Diego Chargers hosted the Cincinnati Bengals at Qualcomm Stadium. That contest was won by the Bengals by a score of 20-13. The then 4-8 Chargers put up a fight against the 7-5 Bengals, but came up short. Rivers only completed 26 of 48 receptions for 280 yards, and one touchdown. He also lost a fumble, and threw an interception. The defense held Dalton to 25 of 38 receptions on the day, with only 211 yards. Liuget had a sack (picture above), Demmorio Williams had a pick-six, and Lynch grabbed an interception. Danario Alexander had a TD grab. But, it was not enough to overcome a 118 yard rushing performance by Green-Ellis.

This year, the circumstances are slightly different, but not by much. The Bengals are heading up their division with a 7-4 record, and the Chargers are fighting to keep in the hunt for the final wild-card spot, with a 5-6 record. The tables have completely flipped for our team this year. The o-line has been surprisingly stout,after being awful in 2012. Philip Rivers is having an MVP caliber year, and he is not turning the ball over. However, the defense that put the pressure on Dalton last year, is essentially a shell of itself this year. Our team is banged up, and tons of guys have been asked to step up on both sides of the ball.

To have a successful day, Rivers must play near-flawless football. The secondary will have their hands full with A.J. Green, and will have to get help from our 3rd string pass rush. I really can’t tell if this will be a shootout, or a low-scoring game, like last year. The Bengals defense has been very good all year, but lost their star nose tackle (Gino Atkins) a few games ago. Andy Dalton has been as inconsistent as it gets, putting up ridiculous points one week, and getting nothing going the next. Still, their record speaks for itself. The Chargers will have to get this home crowd into the game!!!

So, here’s to our boys pulling out a great victory, and starting a home-game winning streak that carries us to the promise land of the playoffs! I want to see sacks, hurries, pressures, turnovers, and nastiness from this defense! As for the offense, they just need to continue what they did last week, when they DOMINATED a top-notch Kansas City defense.

If you have never been to one of our open threads, please feel free to post in the comments section below. We will be cheering, laughing, crying, yelling, and showing our Charger Pride, as the game plays out. All are welcome, but keep comments above the belt, and don’t be a troll, or witness the wrath of Bolt Beat Nation… hahahaha. Most of all, enjoy yourself = )

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!

Peter Thompson

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