The NFL playoffs 2014 live streaming and televised coverage continues with wild card matchups on Sunday, Jan. 5, as one team from the AFC and one from the NFC will each advance to the next round. In early action on Sunday to kick things off will be the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the San Diego Chargers, as quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Philip Rivers square off in Cincinnati. The first of the televised and live stream NFL playoff games will be featured for fans by CBS sports networks.
According to ESPN.com in their Jan. 4 report, this playoff game marks Philip Rivers' first return to the NFL playoffs after a three year drought. The star quarterback Rivers, who came from the same NFL draft as Super Bowl-winning QB's Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, was last in the playoffs in 2009. In that edition of the postseason, the Chargers had a first-round bye as the No.2 seed in the AFC, but were defeated by the New York Jets, who moved on to play the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship. The next three seasons marked disappointment for Rivers and company, as they failed to make the playoffs each time. However, the Chargers got help in the form of several potential playoff teams losing their final games of this 2013 season, and with a 3-point overtime win in their final game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego gained a wild card spot in the 2014 playoffs.
It was more than just that last win that helped the Chargers though, as Rivers helped lead the team to four straight wins to close out the season. Rivers said with regards to being back in the playoffs again this 2014 postseason, "It's been a real long time so it feels great to be back in." He'll be facing off against Andy Dalton, who is making his third straight appearance in the playoffs. In their past two wild card games, the Bengals lost at the Houston Texans, but that team is nowhere in sight, and Cincy has home field advantage now.
For the past season, Rivers and Dalton had relatively close stats when compared with one another. While Dalton has thrown 4,293 yards and 33 touchdowns on 363 completions, Rivers had 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns on 378 completions. Rivers, who has thrown 11 interceptions all season, ranks sixth in the league in QB rating with 105.5, while Dalton (20 INT's) is a bit lower down the list at 17th with a passer rating of 88.8. Cincinnati ranks at eighth in the league in passing with 258.7 yards per game, while San Diego ranks fourth with 270.5 per game. San Diego bests Cincinnati when it comes to the rushing category.
However, the Bengals have several major stats in their favor, including the fact they are a top five NFL defense, ranking fifth in both pass (209.0 yards/game) and rush (96.5 yards/game) defense. Not only that, but they were a perfect 8-0 at their home stadium this past season, a stat that bodes well for Dalton and company as they look to advance to the AFC division round next weekend.
The Cincinnati Bengals opened as 7-point favorites for this matchup and have remained at that spot since then. The over/under for the game opened at 47 total points and has gone about a point lower at various sports books. Weather for this game is expected to be cloudy with rain and an 80% chance of snow. The kickoff temperature will be in the mid-30's, with a wind chill of 31. Snow accumulation could reach as much as 3-inches, making for an interesting field of play.
Sunday's AFC wild card game featuring the Chargers vs. Bengals has a scheduled start time of 1:05 p.m. Eastern Standard Time from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The NFL playoff game will be presented in standard and hi-definition formats on CBS affiliate stations around the country. In addition, the CBS Sports Live NFL video site will allow fans to watch this game live streaming online, starting at 1 p.m. EST. See the site here for more details on how to watch the live feed online for Sunday's AFC game.