The Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) take on the Los Angeles Chargers (6-5) in one of the NFL's marquee matchups of the Week 13 slate.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor called this game the biggest game of the season to date because of the playoff implications at stake.
If the playoffs started today, the Bengals would be the No. 5 seed and the Chargers would be the No. 7 seed in the AFC.
Depending on how the season shakes out for both clubs in the final six games, the winner of this matchup could end up knocking one another out.
"We're only as good as our next game," Taylor said. "So we've got to put our best foot forward against the Chargers here and really keep this momentum going."
Here's how the Bengals can beat the Chargers and improve to 8-4 on the season:
Run Joe Mixon to unleash passing game
The Chargers have the worst run defense in the AFC giving up 145.3 rushing yards per game.
Cincinnati has been running particularly well recently with Joe Mixon leading the way. Mixon has recorded back-to-back 100-plus yard rushing performances in the last two weeks and feels like he's hitting his prime.
If the Bengals are able to run the ball early, we could see the Bengals passing offense erupt against the Chargers. It's been a quiet few weeks for Ja'Marr Chase in terms of explosive plays. That could change if Mixon takes off again like he has the last few weeks.
Cincinnati's second-level defense needs to have big game
The last time the Bengals faced a dynamic running back similar to Austin Ekkler their defense struggled to tackle and contain.
When Cincinnati lost to New York back in October, Jets' quarterback Mike White carved the Bengals up at the second level with Michael Carter, New York's running back who caught nine passes for 95 yards.
Chargers' quarterback Justin Herbert likes to target Ekkler out of the backfield and has targeted him 66 times this season. Ekkler has 51 catches for 473 yards already this year.
The Bengals will need to tackle well in the screen game to limit Ekkler's production.
Continue to force turnovers on defense
They say turnovers come in bunches and that's been the case for the Bengals recently. In the last two games, Cincinnati's defense has done a stellar job at creating turnovers.
Cornerback Eli Apple has two interceptions in the last two games, a big reason the team has gone 2-0 during that stretch.
If the Bengals are able to force Herbert and Los Angeles' offense into pressure situations, Cincinnati's secondary could continue to reap the benefits on the back end.
The Bengals' defense is playing hungry right now and if they can give the offense more opportunities, especially with the way Joe Mixon is running the ball and bleeding the clock out, it could be the recipe for success.