Chargers at Bengals: Five things to watch

Posted at 3:22 AM, Sep 20, 2015

CINCINNATI - Five things to watch Sunday when the Bengals (1-0) host the Chargers (1-0) in the home opener at Paul Brown Stadium:

CAN RIVERS ROLL ON?: Philip Rivers of the Chargers threw 20 straight completions to end Sunday's win over Detroit. That's the fourth-most in NFL history behind Donovan McNabb's 24 in a row over two games in 2004. Peyton Manning completed 23 straight in 2008, and Joe Montana, Mark Brunell, David Carr and Matt Ryan had streaks of 22.

"Rivers had a hell of a second half," Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones said. "Stuff happens. We're prepared for this week."

When he retired, Bengals great Ken Anderson held the NFL record with 20 straight completions against the Houston Oilers in 1983.

Watch: Ken Anderson leads Oktoberfest chicken dance.

LINING UP: The Chargers are expected to be short-handed on the offensive line without RG D.J. Fluker, who is listed as doubtful. Chris Tomlinson is expected to start for Fluker, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the third quarter last week. Tomlinson had never played guard at any level, but had practiced there. The Chargers probably will keep Chris Watt — a former guard at Notre Dame — at center. San Diego's line depth already was thin because guard Johnnie Troutman is recovering from a broken forearm suffered in the exhibition opener. Troutman hopes to be back soon.

EIFERT'S ENCORE: After missing all but eight plays last season because of an elbow injury, Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert had an impressive game against Oakland. He had career highs with nine catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns. With Eifert and receiver Marvin Jones back, the offense showed great diversity.

"We feel like we've got a lot of talent here and guys that understand what we're trying to do," said Andy Dalton, who was 25 of 34 for 269 yards without a sack or interception against Oakland. "So it's nice to have everybody back."

BETTER D: Cincinnati's defense slipped significantly last season, finishing last in the league in sacks, but looked vintage in the opener. The Raiders didn't cross midfield until the final play of the third quarter and managed only 246 yards.

"They had a heck of a game, just about pitched a shutout there until the end," Rivers said.

THAT HOME FIELD RECORD: Cincinnati's playoff loss to San Diego was its only home-field defeat during the 2013 season. It wasn't shocking in light of the Bengals' struggles at home over the last five years — only 24-15-1. They've gone 3-5, 4-4, 4-4, 8-1 and 5-2-1 at home but managed to reach the playoffs in each of the last four seasons. In addition to losing the playoff at home to San Diego, they've lost two first-round games at Houston and one at Indianapolis.