Chargers vs Bengals: 3 player matchups that will decide Week 13 outcome
By Jason Reed
2. Joe Mixon vs. the interior defensive line
The two most important matchups in this game for the LA Chargers do not have to do with the team exploiting something on the Bengals. They have to do with the Chargers making sure that they do not get exploited by the Bengals in two areas where the team is really weak. These weaknesses give the Chargers one of the worst defenses in the league.
The Chargers haven't really been exposed as being a bad defensive team yet as the two games that they let up a lot of points both game in shootout wins. This matchup against the Bengals can get really ugly if they continue to target Campbell in the secondary and run the ball as well as they can with Mixon.
The Chargers have allowed the fourth-most points this season while allowing the third-most plays per defensive drive. Teams are able to stay on the field, milk the clock, get the defense tired and capitalize. The third-down defense has been so bad this season and that is mostly because they are often in third and shorts because teams can run down their throats.
The most concerning thing for the Chargers is that the Bengals are really starting to turn to Mixon, who is starting to peak heading into this matchup. Mixon's two best games of the season were the last two weeks, where he ran for a combined 288 yards with four touchdowns. If there is anyone to play in daily fantasy this week, it might just be Joe Mixon.
Mixon is going to have a good day and the Chargers need to try and make sure he does not have a great day. The key to doing that is to bite the bullet and stop playing Jerry Tillery so much, instead playing the interior defensive linemen that actually help the run defense. Will they do that? Probably not.