Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers vs. Bengals - Game Preview and Pick - AFC Wild Card

San Diego Chargers  – 9-7

Cincinnati Bengals  - 11-5

Chargers vs. Bengals.  The San Diego Chargers have always had the talent to be a good team, but they under achieved under previous head coach Norv Turner.  But now under new head coach Mike McCoy they are seen as overachievers.  The Cincinnati had been in the overachiever role the past few seasons, but now more than just making the playoffs is expected of them.

After bowing out in the first round of the playoffs on the road to the Houston Texans the past two seasons, the Bengals have now ascended to becoming the AFC North Champions.  And now have a chance to win their first playoff game in 23 years.  And making it even bigger is they can get the win at home in Paul Brown Stadium.

The Chargers come into this game on fire, winning five of their last six games, beating the likes of the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs in the process.  However, their one loss during that time was in week 13 to the Cincinnati Bengals.  So both teams will looking back to that game to find positives negatives to apply to this matchup.

The Bengals have also won five of their last six, so both teams will collide on a wave of momentum.   Quarterback Andy Dalton has had a good season.  But after a 4 interception game in the Bengals win over the Ravens in week 17, there is doubt as to whether he can get the Bengals over the hump after two consecutive playoff losses.

And even though Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has had a good season, I think the Chargers identity has been established more down the stretch by running the ball with Ryan Matthews.  But ultimately when the game is on the line, I think Rivers will come through better than Dalton will, and this is why I think the Chargers will get the win.    1:05 pm – CBS

Score prediction:       24-23  Chargers   

Points spread:      Bengals  – 7

Over/under:  47 – Over


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