2014 Thowball Wild Card- Chargers @ Bengals

This is a tough one since I care so little about either team.  The Bengals have made the Playoffs 4 out of the last 5 years but they haven’t had a playoff victory since 1990.  Their problem is that they have a tendency to give up the ball a lot in the form of interceptions.  What’s notable about them historically is they were founded by the legendary Paul Brown after he was booted by the infamous Art Modell from his eponymous team and played for many years in Cleveland Browns uniforms that Brown owned and took with him in the breakup.  His son and heir Mike Brown is pretty much universally regarded as one of the dumbest owners in the NFL, which is saying a lot.

The Chargers haven’t been in the Playoffs since 2009 and contrary to their past playbook are primarily a running team.  This will be interesting since the Bengals are tough against the rush, giving up only about 100 yards a game on average.  The Chargers are one of the original AFL teams and are currently the only NFL team in Southern California since the Rams decamped Los Angeles in 1994.  If you want to find a reason to hate them, they employ Manti Te’o of the dead girlfriend hoax fame.  You remember that one don’t you?

One of the enduring stories of Notre Dame’s 2012 season was Te’o’s strong play following the death of his grandmother and girlfriend… In January 2013, the sports blog Deadspin revealed that the existence and death of his girlfriend had been faked. An acquaintance of Te’o confessed to orchestrating a hoax that lured Te’o into an online relationship with a nonexistent woman.

The other big plot line is snow in Brown Stadium (I’ll give the Bengals that, it’s still named after Paul Brown and not some faceless corporation).  Some are predicting it in buckets, others that it will be warm enough to be just freezing rain.  It shouldn’t handicap either team, the Bengals play in crappy lake effect weather all season long and some of the Chargers’ biggest victories this season have been outside in the cold.

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    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm
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    Mike Scifres punts for 47 yards to Cin40. No return.

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm
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    Penalty: Holding on Cincinnati (Jermaine Gresham) -10 yards.

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm
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    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 8:20 pm

     Andy Dalton pass to the middle to Giovani Bernard for 12 yards to the SD4. Tackled by Donald Butler. FUMBLE, recovered by SD (Richard Marshall) and returned for 13 yards. Tackled by Giovani Bernard.

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Ryan Mathews rush to the right for 5 yards to the SD16. Tackled by Reggie Nelson. Penalty: Holding on San Diego (Antonio Gates) -8 yards.

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm
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    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 8:48 pm
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     Andy Dalton sacked at 50 for a loss of 1 yard by Corey Liuget.

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Zoltan Mesko punts for 50 yards to SD0. Touchback

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm
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    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    ndy Dalton rush to the right for 12 yards to the Cin37. FUMBLE, recovered by SD (Jahleel Addae). Tackled by Marvin Jones.

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm
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    Nick Novak kicks off to the Cin7. Brandon Tate return for 14 yards to Cin21. Tackled by Richard Marshall. Penalty: Holding on Cincinnati (Vincent Rey) -10 yards.

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 9:35 pm
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    Andy Dalton pass intended for Tyler Eifert INTERCEPTED by Melvin Ingram and returned for 3 yards. Tackled by Tyler Eifert. Penalty: Unnecessary Roughness on Cincinnati (Anthony Collins) 15 yards.

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 9:42 pm
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    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Mike Scifres punts for 34 yards to Cin12. No return.

    • TMC on January 5, 2014 at 9:47 pm
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