Ready or not: Bengals’ Burrow opens NFL career vs Chargers

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-11) at CINCINNATI (2-14)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE – Chargers by 3 1/2

SERIES RECORD – Chargers lead 21-15

LAST MEETING – Chargers beat Bengals 26-21 in Los Angeles on Dec. 9, 2018

CHARGERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (10), RUSH (28), PASS (6).

CHARGERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (6), RUSH (18), PASS (5).

BENGALS OFFENSE – OVERALL (26), RUSH (25), PASS (19).

BENGALS DEFENSE – OVERALL (29), RUSH (32), PASS (21).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — No fans permitted at Paul Brown Stadium because of COVID-19 precautions. … Series includes two playoff games in Cincinnati. Chargers won wild-card playoff 27-10 in 2013 season, lost “Freezer Bowl” AFC title game at Riverfront Stadium in 1981 season. … Chargers are 14-17 since merger when opening season on road. Last away win in Week 1 came in 2012 against Raiders. … Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is 1-2 in openers. Lynn is 1-0 vs. Bengals. … Chargers have won all three season openers vs. Bengals … WR Mike Williams (shoulder) and C Mike Pouncey (hip) are questionable …. Tyrod Taylor will be first QB to start for Chargers other than Philip Rivers since Week 17 of 2005 (Drew Brees). Taylor making first NFL start since Week 3 of 2018 (Browns vs. Jets). Over the past five seasons, he is one of three QBs to throw for at least 8,000 yards and run for at least 1,500. … RB Austin Ekeler had 1,550 scrimmage yards last season, including 993 receiving. He averaged 102.4 scrimmage yards per game on the road last season and scored eight TDs. … WR Keenan Allen signed a four-year, $80.1-million extension last week. He set career high with 104 catches last season and has seven straight games with at least five receptions. … TE Hunter Henry has 80 or more receiving yards vs. AFC North teams in past two games. … DE Joey Bosa had 11 1-2 sacks last season. … CB Chris Harris Jr. makes LA debut after spending last nine seasons in Denver. … Bengals matched worst record in franchise history (2-14) in coach Zac Taylor’s first season, have lost 21 of last 24 games overall. … Heisman Trophy winner, LSU national champion and first overall drft pick Joe Burrow makes NFL debut without benefit of preseason. Burrow is 14th rookie QB to start for Bengals. Andy Dalton started as rookie in 2011 and led them to playoffs. … WR A.J. Green returns after missing all last season with ankle injury. Green has 63 career TD catches, three shy of Chad Johnson’s club record. … Bengals overhauled defense that ranked last in league vs. the run, replacing five starters. … DE Carlos Dunlap has 81 1/2 career sacks, two shy of Eddie Edwards’ franchise record. … Fantasy pick: Bengals RB Joe Mixon got a four-year, $48 million extension through 2024 last week. He’ll be a focus of the offense while Burrow settles in at QB.

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