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10 Insights: Bolts, Bengals...and Buckeyes Sunday in Cincinnati


Below are 10 quick-hitting insights ahead of the Chargers' Week 13 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals:

1) The last time these two teams met was Week 1 of 2020. Tyrod Taylor started under center for the Chargers. Joe Burrow was making his first career NFL start for the Bengals. Joshua Kelley's five-yard rushing score in the fourth quarter -- the Chargers' lone touchdown of the game -- helped Los Angeles to a 16-13 win. 

2) The Bolts and Bengals played a classic in Cincinnati 15 years ago. The Chargers were down 21-0 after one quarter and 28-7 at halftime. The team then exploded for 42 points in the second half to beat the Bengals 49-41. LaDainian Tomlinson had 158 total yards and four touchdowns. Philip Rivers went 24-of-36 for 338 yards and three touchdowns.

3) Sunday marks the first quarterback matchup between Burrow and Justin Herbert -- the No. 1 and No. 6 overall picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, respectively. Here's a look at their numbers entering Week 13:

Table inside Article
Player Passing Yards Comp. % TDs INTs Passer Rating
Herbert 3,230 66.0 24 10 96.5
Burrow 2,835 69.3 22 12 101.6

4) Keenan Allen and Bengals rookie Ja'Marr Chase enter Week 13 sixth and seventh in the NFL in receiving yards, but they've done it different ways:

Table inside Article
Player Catches Targets Receiving Yards Yards/Rec TDs First Downs
Allen 81 116 895 11.0 2 48
Chase 50 82 906 18.1 8 34

5) Of Herbert's 289 completions this season, 28 percent have gone to Allen; 18 percent have gone to running back Austin Ekeler; 17 percent have gone to wide receiver Mike Williams; and 11 percent have gone to tight end Jared Cook.

6) With a receiving touchdown on Sunday, Ekeler will join Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk as the only backs in the common draft era with eight or more receiving scores in multiple seasons. Ekeler has 14 total touchdowns this season, trailing only Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (16).

7) Safety Derwin James Jr. needs 13 total tackles to set a new career high (106) and he has six-regular season games to do it. The 2018 All-Pro recorded seven total tackles (two for loss), a QB hit and an interception last Sunday in Denver.

8) A combined seven players from Ohio State will share the field Sunday, including Burrow and Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard, as well as Chargers center Corey Linsley and edge rusher Joey Bosa. Hubbard and Bosa are tied for fourth in the NFL with 14 quarterback hurries entering Week 13.

9) Los Angeles is 6-5 and the No. 7 seed in the AFC playoffs entering Week 13. The Chargers are in a three-way tie for second in the AFC West, one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs (7-4), who host the Denver Broncos (6-5) on "Sunday Night Football." The 6-5 Raiders host the Washington Football Team on Sunday afternoon.

10) Cincinnati is 7-4 and currently sits in the No. 5 spot in the AFC playoffs. Over the last two weeks, the Bengals have beaten the Raiders and Steelers by a combined score of 73-23.

*Stats and information courtesy of Pro Football Reference and Chargers Communications unless otherwise noted.

Check out the best photos from the Chargers Thursday practice at Hoag Performance Center.

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