Six Points: Chargers vs. Bengals

The last time the Bengals and Chargers met, San Diego walked away with one of the playoff victories that Cincinnati has been so hard to come by under head coach Marvin Lewis and quarterback Andy Dalton.

The Bengals will be looking to avenge that postseason loss, but they do have recent history on their side with three straight regular season victories over Philip Rivers and the Chargers.

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While both teams slugged out victories in Week 1, here are three keys to victory for each team in Sunday's game at Paul Brown Stadium.


1. Ask Brandon Flowers and Jason Verrett for a repeat performance

San Diego's cornerback duo completely blanketed Calvin Johnson in their season opener. Megatron's stat line: Two receptions, 39 yards, no touchdowns. If Flowers and Verrett can team up like that against A.J. Green, it'll go a long way toward a 2-0 start.

2. Feed your rookie running back

Gordon nearly broke through for a dazzling touchdown run before it was overturned on review. He shouldn't hang his head; the rookie led his team in carries (14) and rushing yards (51) last weekend. Another productive weekend could do wonders for Gordon's confidence.

3. Let Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen make history together

Allen (15 catches in Week 1) nearly broke the Chargers' single-game receptions record. Rivers (254 touchdown passes) is one scoring toss away from surpassing Dan Fouts on the team's all-time list. It only makes sense that the newly rejuvenated tandem connect on what figures to be a historical day.


1. Take what the defense gives them

If the Chargers secondary looks to make Green a nonfactor, Dalton should revisit the well that he went to so often last week. Tight end Tyler Eifert was a revelation last week with nine catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. San Diego will have to pay attention to Eifert, meaning Dalton may have to look the way of secondary targets Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu in the passing game.

2. Dominate up front on offense

Cincinnati's offensive line was a force to be reckoned with in Oakland last week. Dalton was barely touched thanks to the neutralization of Khalil Mack, Aldon Smith and Justin Tuck by Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith, while Clint Boling was clearing rushing lanes for Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. A repeat performance will but Cincy in the win column.

3. Keep cool on defense

There was plenty of extracurricular activity in Oakland last week, nothing more flagrant than Adam Jones' helmet slam of Raiders receiver Amari Cooper. Besides that, the Bengals were also needlessly flagged twice for taunting. They can't afford to get sucked into it again once the whistle blows, especially since Rivers has been know to talk trash on occasion.