|National Football League|
|1:25 PM PT2:25 PM MT3:25 PM CT4:25 PM ET21:25 GMT5:25 AM 北京时间2:25 PM MST4:25 PM EST3:25 PM CT1:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25 , December 1, 2013|
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California Weather: 77°, Clear Attendance: 61,536
Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers
- The Bengals beat the Browns, 41-20, at home prior to their bye last weekend, scoring 40+ points for the second time this season in the victory (also beat the Jets, 49-9, in Week 8). The last time Cincinnati topped the 40-point mark more than twice in a season was 1989, when doing so a franchise-high four times.
- San Diego beat Kansas City, 41-38, at Arrowhead Stadium last Sunday, handing the Chiefs their second consecutive loss in the process. The 41-point outburst marked the Chargers' highest total since beating Arizona, 41-10, on October 3, 2010 (55 games).
- The Bengals have defeated the Chargers two straight times, including a 20-13 victory in Week 13 last season at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego leads the all-time regular-season series with Cincinnati, 19-12.
- Cincinnati had just 10 first downs in Week 11 against the Browns -- its second fewest in any victory since at least 1991 (nine first downs in a 23-17 win over Baltimore in Week 17 last season). The Bengals are just the fourth team to record 10 or fewer first downs in a win this season (also New England (9) in Week 2, Seattle (7) in Week 8 and Tampa Bay (10) in Week 12).
- Philip Rivers was 27-of-39 for 392 yards and three touchdowns (no INT) last Sunday, and is now averaging 346.8 yards through the air in the Chargers' five victories this season (274.5 pass yards per game in six losses). Rivers has 3381 pass yards in 2013 -- most of any San Diego quarterback through the first 11 games in any season all-time.
- San Diego has had 47 pass plays of 20 or more yards this season -- tied for second most in the NFL. Cincinnati has allowed 28 pass plays of 20 or more yards in 2013 (tied for fifth fewest in the league).
- Cowboys cut franchise sacks leader Ware
- 49ers get Jags' Gabbert for 6th rounder
- Broncos have deal with Pro Bowl S Ward
- Browns agree with S Whitner, LB Dansby
- 49ers give S Bethea $23M over 4 years
By KEVIN CHROUST
(AP) -- The Cincinnati Bengals are back from a late-season bye week and ready to begin a five-game stretch to close out the AFC North.
A road win Sunday over the San Diego Chargers would go a long way to further staking their claim on the division.
The Bengals (7-4) are tied with Dallas for the worst road record in the NFL among teams with a record of .500 or better. They're 5-0 at home but 2-4 away from Paul Brown Stadium with consecutive overtime defeats in Miami and Baltimore. A third straight road loss Sunday would allow Baltimore to creep within a game of the division lead.
A victory would leave Cincinnati in a much more comfortable position, up two games with four to play and the only road game in that span coming at Pittsburgh.
"We have five games to really make a run and put our name out there," wide receiver Marvin Jones said. "The bye week was a big help. I've never had a late bye week like that. We're ready to make this last push and go for it all."
That push begins with a healthy middle linebacker. Rey Maualuga missed the last three games with a concussion and an injured left knee, but he has been practicing this week and is expected to play.
The Bengals entered the bye in high spirits after their 41-20 home win over Cleveland on Nov. 17. Their 31-point second quarter set a franchise record, and all three phases contributed to the scoring - two touchdowns on offense, one on a fumble recovery by the defense, one off a blocked punt return and a field goal.
The offense, however, has been on a disturbing trend, held below 270 total yards in three straight games.
Andy Dalton has thrown eight interceptions in that span, including two in the first quarter to the Browns that led to a 13-0 hole.
"Everybody throws interceptions from time to time," offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. "If you're going to play quarterback, you're going to throw an interception from time to time. You can't dwell on it, you've got to move on and figure out a way to win the game.
"... But obviously eight interceptions in three weeks is too many."
Dalton's 15 picks are tied for third in the league, though he also enters Week 13 as one of six quarterbacks with over 20 touchdown passes (21). He wasn't sacked against Cleveland after going down 10 times in the previous two games, but his 93 passing yards marked the first time this year he was held under 200. He's completed 47.4 percent of his throws in the last two games after connecting on 64.8 percent in the first nine.
The Chargers are one of six AFC teams at 5-6 and looking to gain footing in the race for the last wild-card spot. They play four of their last five games at home, though that hasn't meant a lot recently. They're 5-7 at Qualcomm Stadium since the start of 2012.
A 41-38 win at Kansas City last Sunday ended a three-game losing streak. Philip Rivers connected with Seyi Ajirotutu on a 26-yard touchdown with 24 seconds remaining to complete a game-winning and potentially season-salvaging drive.
"It's the kind of win that can save the season," Rivers said. "That doesn't mean it saved it, but it certainly kept it alive."
San Diego would welcome its defense to do some of the saving going forward. The Chargers have allowed 29.0 points per game in the last four weeks, which ranks 27th in the league.
They're allowing an AFC-worst 389.5 yards per game.
"We've made changes before," first-year coach Mike McCoy said. "We're going to let the DBs compete this week and we'll find out what we think is the best combination for us. We're going to do what's best moving forward."
That could just be relying on Rivers, given the Dec. 1 date of the game. Since becoming the starter in 2006, Rivers is 26-5 with a 99.5 passer rating in December. The win total is tops in the league in that time and the rating trails only Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
The Bengals, however, have won their last two games against Rivers and the Chargers, both of which came in December.
San Diego leading rusher Ryan Mathews left last Sunday's game with a hamstring injury but is listed as probable.
Updated November 29, 2013