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Chargers-Bengals Wild Card Preview






JANUARY 5, 2014

TIME: 1:05 p.m. Sunday

PLACE: Paul Brown Stadium (Synthetic)

LOCAL RADIO: Play-by-play Dan Hoard and analyst Dave Lapham led by Triple Cast of WLW 700 AM, ESPN AM 1530 and WEBN FM 102.7 on the 25-station Bengals radio network.

NATIONAL RADIO: WestwoodOne Sports with play-by-play Ian Eagle, analyst Trent Green, sideline reporter Tony Boselli.

TV: CBS broadcast team of play-by-play Jim Nantz and analyst Phil Simms on Cincinnati's Channel 12, Channel 7 in Dayton, Ohio, Channel 27 in Lexington, Ky.


INJURIES** CIN: DOUBTFUL: Starting CB Terence Newman (knee) practiced for the first time Friday since he sprained his knee Dec. 8; QUESTIONABLE: Starting TEs Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) and Tyler Eifert (neck) went full together Friday for the first time since they got hurt Dec. 22 vs. Minnesota and missed last week's game. Starting C Kyle Cook (foot) went full Friday for the first time after being on crutches at the beginning of the week. Regular DL Wallace Gilberry (concussion) went full Friday for the first time this week and may still need to be examined again before he gets cleared for Sunday. PROBABLE: Starting LT Anthony Collins (ankle) went full Friday after missing last two days. Starting LG Andrew Whitworth (ankle) and RT Andre Smith (ankle) went full Friday after being limited Thursday. Same with WR A.J. Green (knee), LB Vinny Rey (ankle) and CB Chris Crocker (knee). CB Dre Kirkpatrick (illness) went full go Friday after being out Thursday.

SD: QUESTIONABLE: WR Eddie Royal (toe) after not practicing this week. DTSean Lissemore (shoulder) after being limited all week. PROBABLE: RB Ryan Matthews (ankle) went limited Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday.

Chargers lead regular season series 18-14, 9-7 in Cincinnati, 2-1 at PBS; Bengals lead postseason series 1-0.

» For the first time since the legendary Freezer Bowl on Jan. 10, 1982 in the AFC championship game, the Bengals play the Chargers in the playoffs. The Bengals plan to honor the local alums of that game moments before kickoff.

» Running back James Brooks, who went to four Pro Bowls after he was traded from the Chargers to the Bengals in the spring of 1984, rushed for 23 yards on six carries in that game for the Chargers as a rookie. He'll be at the ceremony as will the man that got traded for him, running back Pete Johnson.

» It's the fifth time Marvin Lewis has made the playoffs and the fourth time the Bengals have played a team they faced during the season. This is the first time the Bengals have played a team it beat. In the three previous instances they lost to a team in which they split with in the regular season (Pittsburgh in 2005) and lost to in the regular season (the Jets in 2009 and the Texans in 2011).

» Besides the Freezer Bowl, the Bengals-Chargers rivalry has been significant on several fronts. Not only was it Cincinnati's first regular-season game in history, the Bengals had their first 100-yard play in history when cornerback Louis Breeden went 102 yards for a TD off an interception on Nov. 8, 1981 in San Diego. The next year San Diego rung up 661 yards against Cincinnati, the most ever allowed by the Bengals. In a Nov. 12, 2006 game at PBS, WR Chad Johnson set the Bengals single-game record with 260 receiving yards.

» A win on Sunday gives the Bengals 10 straight wins at PBS, the most since the '88-89 clubs strung together 12.

» Sunday is the 69th birthday of Sam Wyche, the last Bengals head coach to win a playoff game.

» Punter Zoltan Mesko makes his Bengals debut in his seventh career playoff game. The only Bengal with more is SAM LB James Harrison with 12.

CIN: T-6th in scoring, 10th in offense (18th rushing, 8th passing); T-5th in scoring defense, 3rd in defense (5th rushing, 5th passing), 13th in turnover margin at plus-1.

SD: 12th in scoring, 5th in offense (13th rushing, 4th passing); 11th in scoring defense, 23rd in defense (12th rushing, 29th passing), T-20th in turnover margin at minus-.

CIN: Marvin Lewis 90-85-1 regular season, 0-4 postseason in his 11th season; 4-2 vs. Chargers

SD: Mike McCoy 9-7 in his first season, 0-1 vs. Bengals and Lewis.

The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio is calling for temperatures hovering around the freezing mark at kickoff and a 90 percent chance of a mix of rain and snow with a five-mile wind out of the north. Temperatures may rise to the upper 30s during the game before a deep freeze comes in Sunday night.

» 52-35-1 - Bengals record at home under Lewis
» 1 - January victories for Lewis
» 8-0 - Bengals record at home
» 4-4 - Chargers record on the road
» 430 - Points scored by Bengals, third-most all-time in franchise history and most under Lewis
» 54 - TDs scored by Bengals, second-most in club history (59 in 1988)
» 305 - Second-fewest points allowed under Lewis
» 2 - NFL teams in the top 10 in both offense and defense (Bengals and Saints)
» 49 - NFL-leading conversion rate on third down for Chargers
» 23 - Third-down conversion rate of Bengals foes at PBS
» 2 - Playoff starts for Bengals QB Andy Dalton
» 7 - Playoff starts for Chargers QB Philip Rivers
» 0-2 - Dalton's record in wild card games
» 2-0 - Rivers's record in wild card games
» 8 - Playoff TD passes by Rivers
» 9 - Playoff interceptions by Rivers
» 0 - Playoff TD passes for Dalton
» 0 -  Playoff TDs for Bengals WR A.J. Green
» 127 - Yards receiving by Green in two playoff games
» 168 - Yards receiving by Green in two games vs. Chargers

» JungleZone: Band – Naked Karate Girls
» Anthem: John Winfrey
» Giveaway: Bengals pom-poms courtesy Fifth Third Bank
» Halftime: The University of Cincinnati Marching Band will perform, plus Around the League in 180 Seconds.
» Pregame: Local alumni from the Freezer Bowl will be honored on the field just before kickoff for their AFC Championship victory over the Chargers.

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