It took the Cincinnati Bengals' star WR a few games to get going this season, but the only thing that has slowed him down since has been Joe Haden. Green posted five consecutive games of 100+ receiving yards before last week, when the Browns' shutdown held him to 7 yards and picked off Andy Dalton twice.
That sounds good until you realize that there are not cornerbacks on the San Diego Chargers roster that can amount to half of Joe Haden. Green will need to be double-covered on every single play, and he'll still probably get 100+ receiving yards.
- The Bengals have won the turnover battle in 3 of their 11 games this season, going 3-0 in those matchups.
- They have tied the turnover battle in 4 of their 11 games this season, going 3-1 in those matchups.
If you can do math, and know that the Bengals are 7-4, you can figure out the rest. They have lost the turnover battle 4 times, going 1-3 in those games. I'd say that those numbers are fairly average, but for comparison's sake.
- The Chargers have won the turnover battle in 4 of their 11 games this season, going 3-1 in those matchups.
- They have tied the turnover battle in 3 of their 11 games this season, going 1-2 in those matchups.
Ummm, that's weird. Anyway, that means that the Chargers have lost the turnover battle 4 times, and have gone 1-3 in those games.
The Bengals are 6-1 when they don't lose the turnover battle. The Chargers are 4-3 when they don't lose the turnover battle. I'd love to say that this game will be determined by who wins the turnover battle, but the truth is that San Diego needs to win it and the Bengals simply need to not turn the ball over any more their defense is able to create turnovers.
Statement Game / Close Games
This game is of huge importance to both the Bengals and Chargers.
For San Diego, this game will determine whether or not the playoffs are a reality or a pipe dream this season. For Cincinnati, they're trying to get their season back on track after losing two of their last three games. They're also doing their best to hold off the Steelers and the Ravens for the AFC North lead.
Marvin Lewis, who is by no means a great coach but has fielded a good team for several years now, is 4-3 in one-score games this season (worth noting that he's 3-1 in one-score games that end in regulation). Mike McCoy is 2-5 in one-score games in his rookie season (2-4 in one-score games that end in regulation).
Late season games that are this important to both teams usually end up being determined by just a few points. Right now, you have to think the Bengals have the advantage if it comes to that.