The LA Chargers are on the road for the second straight week as they take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13. While the Bengals were not projected to be a playoff contender before the season, this has turned into the most important game of the Chargers' season to date.
With the Bengals being another likely wild-card team and the Chargers already having three losses against AFC teams, the Chargers could gain a lot by winning this game. We predicted the final six weeks for each team in the AFC playoff picture and it was clear that winning this game makes the road to the playoffs much easier for the Bolts.
The problem is that it looks like a really bad matchup on paper. There are areas of this game that the Bengals may dominate and if the Bolts are going to win, they are going to have to win three specific player matchups.
3 player matchups that will determine the outcome of the LA Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals game:
1. Tevaughn Campbell vs. whoever he is guarding
This is the most terrifying of the Week 13 matchups for the Bolts. Tevaughn Campbell has been woeful for the LA Chargers this season and is taking over for Asante Samuel Jr, who suffered two concussions in a three-week span. Not only is Campbell a liability on the field but he is playing a big number of snaps, playing a staggering 98% of defensive snaps against Denver.
The Chargers need to keep Ja'Marr Chase off of Campbell at all costs but there will be an instance in the game in which the Bengals get the matchup they want and it won't be pretty. Even if the Chargers successfully keep Campbell away from Chase the team still has Tee Higgins, who could have a field day with Campbell defending him.
If Campbell has the kind of game that he has had over the last few weeks then the Bolts are in serious trouble and there is no stopping the Bengals offense. If he manages to hold his own and not be a liability then they will be in business