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Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
When: 18.05 (GMT)
Watch live: Click here to watch on NowTV from Sky!
Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers are back in the postseason after a three-year drought.
That pales in comparison to the Cincinnati Bengals’ wait for a playoff victory.
The AFC North champion Bengals seek to end their 23-year drought without a postseason win Sunday when they host the surging Chargers.
San Diego (9-7) won four straight West titles between 2006-09, going 3-4 in the playoffs with Rivers in those years. The Chargers finished second each of the three previous seasons to miss the playoffs, but four straight victories to close the regular season for a third-place finish was good enough in 2013 to finally return.
It must feel like an eternity, meanwhile, for Bengals fans to see their team taste playoff success. A loss Sunday would extend Cincinnati’s drought to 24 years — which would mark the sixth-longest such streak in NFL history.
The Bengals (11-5) will be making their fourth playoff appearance in five seasons and third in as many seasons with Andy Dalton at quarterback. Dalton hasn’t been up to par in losses to Houston in each of the last two postseasons, throwing four interceptions with no touchdowns while getting sacked six times.
More is expected now that Dalton finished third in the league with 33 touchdown passes — one more than Rivers. There are still concerns about his play after last Sunday’s 34-17 win over Baltimore in which he threw for 281 yards and two scores but was also picked off a career-worst four times.
Rivers threw for nine touchdowns and 845 yards with a 109.8 passer rating over the Chargers’ four-game win streak to close the regular season. That run culminated with last Sunday’s wild 27-24 overtime home win over the Chiefs, who missed a field goal at the end of regulation that would have eliminated San Diego.