Quick Take: Bengals/Chargers

In Brief

» Last meeting: LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 104 yards and four touchdowns as the Chargers beat the Bengals in a shootout, 49-41.
» Streaks: The Chargers have won seven of the last nine meetings, and own an 18-11 overall series advantage, including the playoffs.
» Last week: San Diego made enough timely plays to leave Dallas with a 20-17 victory. ... Cincinnati got leveled in Minnesota, 30-10.

Keep your eye on ...Carson Palmer's effectiveness: In his only start against San Diego, Palmer had a career-high 440 passing yards. He hasn't even sniffed that number this season (his season-high is 271), and last week he was held to just 94 passing yards. He will likely have to get closer to 440 than 94, if the Bengals are to win in San Diego.

The Bengals' response: Cincinnati responded to its first three losses with resounding wins, and not doing so again this weekend would just about end any chance to claim a playoff bye.

Philip Rivers' MVP push:Drew Brees and Peyton Manning continue to get all the accolades for leading their teams to unbeaten seasons, but Rivers has matched them in almost every category. He has been nearly flawless during the team's eight-game winning streak, but he will face a stiff test against Cincinnati's talented secondary.

Did you know?

The Bengals will clinch the AFC North title with a win. ... Cincinnati's Cedric Benson is having his first 1,000-yard rushing season. ... The Chargers have won an NFL-record 16 consecutive December games. ... If the playoffs started today, the Bengals and Chargers would both be in. Get an updated look at the postseason picture.

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