The Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) will beat the San Diego Chargers (9-7) by one, 21-20, in the second AFC Wild Card playoff game of the weekend.
From a fantasy football POV (Point of View), the difference maker is defense. Cincinnati's "D" finished tied for No.5 with San Francisco, while San Diego was No. 27.in defense and special teams.
Cincinnati also has home field advantage. They are 8-0 at home, while the Chargers are 4-4 on the road.
Amazingly, there is only a three-point difference in fantasy football scoring between Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and Chargers QB Philip Rivers. Dalton finished at No. 3 with 343 points and Rivers was No. 4 with 340.
In addition to Dalton, the two key players for Cincinnati are wide receiver A.J Green and running back Giovani Bernard. Green finished at No. 5 among wide receivers, just two points behind Detroit's Calvin Johnson, with 252 points and 11 touchdown catches. Bernard was No. 16 among running backs and had 8 touchdowns and 1,209 yards (695 rushing + 514 receiving) of total offense.
Rivers' primary offensive weapons are wide receiver Keenan Allen and running back Ryan Mathews. Both players had strong finishes for the Chargers in the regular season. Allen moved up to the No. 19 spot among wide receivers with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. Mathews finished at No. 12 among running backs with 1,255 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
San Diego was persistent enough to make the playoffs, but the Bengals at home with a strong defense is tough to beat.