Chargers, Bengals heading in opposite directions

Two playoff AFC playoff teams clashed on Sunday, but only one of them is heading in the right direction.

For the Bengals to have to deal with the death of Chris Henry and then have to travel cross-country to face a red-hot Chargers team was a tall task. But they did it, and they fought hard despite eventually falling 27-24 on Nate Kaeding’s last-second field goal.

That said, the Bengals have now lost two in a row and three of their last five. They haven’t looked sharp since their win against the Steelers in mid November, which isn’t good considering the playoffs are coming up in two weeks. And since their loss on Sunday was against San Diego, they now won’t have a first round bye.

San Diego, on the other hand, is scorching hot and has locked up the No. 2 seed in the AFC. Vincent Jackson came up huge with five receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns in the win. He routinely beat Cincinnati’s excellent cornerback duo of Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph and is really coming on of late as Philip River’s go to go on the outside.

It’s interesting how this season has unfolded for the Bolts. They were a lot of people’s preseason favorite to make an outside run at the Super Bowl, but when they struggled early on, many started to hop off the bandwagon. But now that they’ve rattled off nine in a row, people are breaking their ankles climbing back on their bandwagon.

Every team in the NFL has an opponent that is just a pain in the ass for them, and the Chargers are that team for the Colts. Indianapolis obviously looks incredible this year, but I wonder if Peyton Manning and company are getting a little uneasy with how good San Diego has looked over the past nine weeks.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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