Now comes Rivers, who had two 300-yard games in the 0-4 start but has thrown for 258, 268 and 183 in the three wins.
And, of course, Rivers comes in joined by tight end Antonio Gates, always a headache for opposing defenses.
“Phil is a tremendous player, a great competitor, a really smart player,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday, adding he got to know Rivers while coaching him in a Pro Bowl. “He’s a real football guy like Tom (Brady), like Peyton Manning, guys like that. They’re just deep into it.
2.5 percent. Thursday’s win over the Chiefs might have saved the Raiders’ season, but there’s still a lot of work left to do. They won’t play in Oakland again until after Thanksgiving, and they currently have the third-toughest remaining strength of schedule. Good luck with that.
The first three meetings with the AFC East resulted in three straight losses to the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and Patriots, each in more embarrassing fashion than the one before.
“Whatever plays are called are called,” Lewis said.
It seems to be a fairly safe bet that offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who injected some life into a unit that was awful before he took over for Ken Zampese after Week 2, will put the ball in the hands of Mixon and Green pretty early.
A slow start in this one is the last thing the Bengals need. With a three-game road trip coming up in which they will be underdogs in every game (Jacksonville, Tennessee, Cincinnati), they can’t afford to flub this one.