The 2014 NFL playoffs are off to a great start. After a truly wild AFC wildcard game yesterday between the Chiefs and Colts, two of the NFL’s hottest teams meet today at 4:05 EST / 1:05 PST when the San Diego Chargers face a week 13 rematch against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals got the better of the Chargers five weeks ago on the road, and today’s AFC wildcard game is in Paul Brown Stadium, where the Bengals dominated the Ravens last week. You can watch Chargers vs Bengals free online AFC Wildcard game live streaming using a few different services.
The San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals have two losses between them in their previous 12 games, one of those being the Chargers’ 17-10 loss the Bengals in Week 13. If that doesn’t classify as two hot teams meeting in today’s AFC wildcard game, nothing does.
In that Week 13 game, the Bengals beat the Chargers behind their running back duo of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard. The Bengals had 164 total yards on the ground, with Green-Ellis having 92 of them and a touchdown. San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had a better game four weeks ago than Bengals QB Andy Dalton, with 252 yards passing vs 190 yards, but the Chargers offense couldn’t overcome the Bengals’ combined attack.
Today’s AFC wildcard game marks the first time the Chargers and Bengals have met in the postseason since 1981. That game, dubbed the “Freezer Bowl” for being the coldest game in NFL history, resulted in a Bengals win that sent Cincinnati to the Super Bowl. The weather won’t be quite as extreme as you watch Chargers vs Bengals free online AFC Wildcard game live streaming today, but it should still play a factor.
The Bengals last beat the Chargers using their ground game, but taking to the air is key to Cincinnati’s offense. Bengals QB Dalton ranks seventh in the league in passing yards and third in passing TDs, and he may have troubles in inclement weather considering he ranks fifth in the NFL in interceptions, including four last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. If there’s one saving grace for Dalton in that regard, it’s the Chargers defense itself. The San Diego Chargers are ranked 28th in interceptions and 29th in yards per play going into today’s Bengals game.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers is a prolific passer as well. Rivers ended the regular season with 4,478 yards passing and 32 touchdowns, just 182 yards more than Dalton but with one less TD. Rivers also ranks fifth in the league in passing yards and leads all quarterbacks with a career-high 69.5 completion percentage.
With weather a possible factor in today’s Chargers game, both quarterbacks could have trouble. In that case, the Bengals have the advantage with their two-back ground game. Giovani Bernard could be a particularly potent weapon. The rookie RB has eight touchdowns this year and leads all rookies in total yards from scrimmage this season (1,209).
With so many weapons to throw at San Diego, the Bengals could win today’s rematch with the Chargers. Kickoff for today’s AFC Wildcard game is scheduled for 4:05 EST / 1:05 PST on CBS. You can watch Chargers vs Bengals free online AFC Wildcard game live streaming on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with Max package. Watching the online live streaming version like that requires a subscription, but anyone who has a subscription can watch any NFL playoff game free online, including today’s AFC Wildcard game between the San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals. CBS Sports is also live streaming all four of the AFC playoff games they’re broadcasting, starting with today’s Chargers Bengals game.