Chargers vs Bengals: Keys To The Game

By Ernie Padaon

Dec 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) rolls out of the pocket in overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers are in the playoffs and it all starts tomorrow. For the Chargers, they have been playoff mode for the lat few weeks and have been able to come up with a big run in order to make it in. Now the Chargers will have to face off against the Cincinnati Bengals, who have been a bit of a thorn in their side over the last couple of seasons. Time to figure out a way to get the job done.

Here are some of the keys to the game for the Chargers:

  1. No turnovers on offense
    The Bengals rely on their defense. It is the strength of the Bengals defense and we can’t give the Bengals extra touches on offense. Antonio Gates put the ball on the turf a couple of time in the last meeting. They have to a do a better job of protecting the football in the game.
  2. Touchdowns in the red zone
    The team has to be able to get touchdowns when they are able to get down into the red zone. Those 7s will be huge in the game. They have done better at scoring touchdowns in the red zone as the season has gone on. Ryan Mathews gets more touches down there and has been a huge reason for the Chargers success in the red zone.
  3. Stop the Bengals running game
    Benjarvus Green-Ellis has killed the Chargers in the past. He has run over our defenders and beat us down in the last meeting. Jarret Johnson and Melvin Ingram will be available this time around and should be able to add some physical play on the defense. They will need to be able to slow that running game down.
  4. Playmakers need to make plays
    This is where the big  boys come to play. Philip Rivers has to shake off the bad playoff performances in the past and show up with a big time performance. Keenan Allen, Ryan Mathews, Antonio Gates all need to make some plays. Eric Weddle, Donald Butler, Corey Liuget all have to play well on defense. Some of these guys have to come up with some game changing plays.