Much of the talk among bettors, bookmakers, and the pay-per-head crowd was the showdown between the Chargers and Bengals in Cincinnati. It was the number one overall pick in 2020, Joe Burrow, facing the sixth overall pick, Justin Herbert.
Two quarterbacks that their draft class will forever link, and many hope for an AFC rivalry that will extend for the next 15 years. The AFC is stacked with great young quarterbacks, and these two are a pair of the best and brightest.
Fast Start For L.A.
We all expected to see both teams going toe-to-toe from the beginning. Instead, the Bengals played their worst first quarter of the season, while the Chargers played their best.
Early in the game, it was big play after big play for Herbert, as he completed passes of 41 and 47 yards to Mike Williams and a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Guyton. A pair of short touchdown passes were also to Keenan Allen to help the Chargers build a 24-point lead.
Herbert’s play was a big part of that dominant start, but the Bengals did their best to help, as Burrow threw an interception and committed a fumble in Cincinnati’s first two possessions. The Bengals also couldn’t run the ball against the Chargers like they expected to, considering that L.A. came into the game as the worst defense in the NFL against the run.
And that fumble by Burrow did more than give the Chargers a short field to work with. Burrow dislocated his pinkie on the play and was in visible pain when throwing the ball for the rest of the game.
It’s become a joke of cliche. The Chargers are going to Charger. Perhaps no team in the last five, ten, or decades going back have found more interesting, unique, and heartbreaking ways to lose a football game. And blowing a 24-point lead against an injured quarterback certainly would count as “Chargering” – as it’s become known.
First, a Burrow touchdown pass to Tee Higgins made the score 24-6. Then after an Austin Ekeler fumble and long return down to the Chargers 19-yard line, Burrow ran the ball in to make the score 24-13.
Cincinnati got the ball to begin the second half, and they marched down for a field goal, making it 24-16. Then after another Ekeler fumble, the Bengals got a touchdown run from Mixon but missed on the two-point conversion. That made the score 24-22, and it was looking like an epic Chargers collapse was brewing.
Chargers Turn It Back On
Down by two, and with the football, the fourth quarter began with the Bengals looking like they were in the driver’s seat. However, the fourth quarter ended with a Chargers blowout win.
Mixon fumbled on that potential game-leading possession, and the Chargers returned the turnover for a touchdown. After forcing a punt, the Chargers went on another touchdown drive, making the score 38-22. And then, after yet another Burrow interception, Los Angeles added another field goal and closed out the dominant win, 41-38.
The Chargers scored the first 24 points of the game and the final 17 points, which was more than enough to counter the 22 straight points scored by the Bengals in the middle.
Coming Up For Both Teams
If you’re a bookmaking partner of Power Pay Per Head, the upcoming schedules for each team will have both a weekly betting impact as well as for the postseason.
The Chargers have a relatively easy game with the Giants next, but then they host the Chiefs. If L.A. has designs on winning the division, that Thursday night game on December 16 will be a must-win.
For the Bengals, they are hosting the 49ers next. Then it’s a trip to Denver and a huge game the day after Christmas at home against the Ravens. Cincinnati is currently a game behind the Ravens in the division, but they did win in Baltimore earlier this season, and another win on December 26 would give them the tiebreaker edge.
Important for that game, and the games leading up to it is the health of Burrow and his hand. He says that he doesn’t envision his pinkie hurting any worse than it did on Sunday, so he doesn’t expect to miss any time.
For independent bookmakers taking bets on the Bengals, the Chargers, the NFL and getting ready for an expanded postseason with 14 NFL teams, now is the time to partner with a top pay-per-head provider like PowerPayPerHead.com.