WATCH WJZ @ NOON TODAY | The Army-Navy rivalry comes to Baltimore. WJZ has live pre-game ceremonies and the game | Who Will Win? | Army-Navy 2016

TALE OF THE TAPE

Wild Card Weekend: San Diego Chargers At Cincinnati Bengals

San Diego Chargers
Cincinnati Bengals
(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner Philip Rivers had one of the best seasons of any NFL quarterback – not named Peyton Manning – as he completed 69.5 percent of his passes and had a 32-11 TD-interception ratio. Rivers made a conscious decision to take what opposing defenses gave him and he did not force the ball into coverage this season. Continuing with that gameplan is what the Chargers need if they're going to come up with the road victory.
The Bengals have been a consistent team that has made the playoffs each of the past three seasons. If they are going to come up with a postseason victory, Andy Dalton is going to have to stay calm under pressure and avoid mistakes. Dalton is coming off a four-interception performance against Baltimore and it’s going to be hard for head coach Marvin Lewis to trust him when the game is on the line.
Offense
The Chargers don’t have a lot of gamebreakers on offense, but Ryan Mathews has been a solid running back who gets the most out of each carry. He gained 1,255 yards and 4.4 yards per carry, taking much of the heat off of Rivers. Keenan Allen is an improving wide receiver who makes athletic catches, while tight end Antonio Gates is dependable on third-down plays.
Winner The Bengals have one of the top 1-2 punches at the running back position. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is their dependable hammer who can run between the tackles and pick up first downs. Explosive Giovanni Bernard can jet to the outside and break long plays. Wide receiver A.J. Green had a special season, catching 98-1,426-11, while No. 2 receiver Marvin Jones had 10 TD catches.
Defense
The Chargers hustled and played hard on defense, but they had some gaffes in the fourth quarter of several games. That could be a problem against the explosive Bengals’ offense. Free safety Eric Weddle is an aggressive player who led the team with 115 tackles and 12 passes defensed. Defensive end Corey Liuget had 5.5 sacks and 42 tackles.
Winner The Bengals played consistent defense all season despite losing All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins early in the season. The Bengals ranked third in yards allowed, and it’s hard to find a more impressive player than linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who led the team with 171 tackles. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap had 7.5 sacks and forced four fumbles.
Special Teams
The Chargers did a solid job in punt and kickoff coverage this season, and they are hoping that Allen or speedy Eddie Royal can give them a big return in this game. Placekicker Nick Novak had a superb season, connecting on 34-of-37 FG attempts.
Winner The Bengals gave up one punt return for a touchdown, but they were basically solid on special-teams coverage. Brandon Tate is a fast return man who can find the creases. Placekicker Mike Nugent had just 22 attempts this season, making 18 of them.

The Winner Is

(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Winner Cincinnati Bengals
3 out of 4

The Chargers are playing with house money as they made the playoffs in Mike McCoy’s first year as head coach. They should be able to play free and easy, while the pressure is squarely on the Bengals’ shoulders because they have not won a playoff game in the Marvin Lewis era.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
Your Podcast Network Play.it
CBS All Access

Listen Live