NFL Wire News

Chargers one win from playoffs


SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers are one win shy of making the playoffs, and they are not sure how they got where they are.

If San Diego (9-7) continues its improbable season by beating the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the season lives on.

Yes, the same season that was about toe-tagged when the Chargers trailed the San Francisco 49ers by 21 points on Saturday. The Chargers produced their biggest rally in team history that day to win in overtime, and now they are poised to reach the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

A head-scratcher indeed, and the Chargers couldn’t be happier. They head to Kansas City after snapping a two-game losing streak that threatened to derail the season. San Diego’s balloon that was deflated by home losses to the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos suddenly has new buoyancy.

“A lot of teams would like to be in that situation to have an opportunity (for) what we all play for,” veteran running back Ronnie Brown said, “and that’s to get that trophy.”

Standing in the Chargers’ will face a Chiefs team with the same idea. Kansas City remains alive for a playoff berth, though after losing four of the past five games, the Chiefs need help if they are to reach the postseason.

San Diego will need another big game from quarterback Philip Rivers, the reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week. Rivers was instrumental in the Chargers’ comeback against the 49ers, throwing for three touchdowns and 356 yards.

Rivers practiced again Wednesday after being slowed by various chest and back ailments. He declined to confirm or deny if he is playing with a bulging back disk.

“I have nothing right now hurting at all,” Rivers said.

The Chargers aren’t worried about the Chiefs or really anyone else. Unlike last year, the Chargers don’t need help to get their playoff invitation. A win at Arrowhead Stadium — something that is never easy — is all it will take.

“We could have taken care of business earlier, we know for a fact,” defensive tackle Corey Liuget said. “But if we win, we get to get in the dance and take the prettiest girl home, which is the trophy.”

Brown will pump the breaks on the championship talk. He knows how desperate the Chiefs are and how much of a home-field advantage Arrowhead Stadium provides.

“We still got to take care of our business, and knowing how big of a football game it is, against a good football team,” Brown said.

SERIES HISTORY: 110th regular-season meeting. The Chargers lead the series, 55-53-1. San Diego won seven of the past 10 matchups and is 23-19 against Kansas City in Arrowhead Stadium. This marks the second straight year the teams end the regular season against each other. Last year, the Chargers prevailed 27-24 in overtime as the Chiefs rested the majority of their starters for the playoffs. The teams met once in the playoffs, when the Chargers won a 1993 AFC wild-card game 17-0.

–Safety Eric Weddle was the lone Charger selected to the Pro Bowl. It is his second consecutive honor and the third time he is a Pro Bowler. Weddle leads the Chargers with 105 tackles and has two forced fumbles. Quarterback Philip Rivers, special teams player Darrell Stuckey and tight end Antonio Gates were chosen as alternates.

NOTES: Starting C Chris Watt left Saturday’s game with an ankle injury and hasn’t worked this week. Trevor Robinson would become the team’s sixth starting center if Watt can’t go Sunday. … RG Johnnie Troutman went on injured reserve this week, and Jeremiah Sirles will replace him. G Kenny Wiggins was added to the roster, and he figures to be active Sunday. … RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) didn’t practice Wednesday, and he appears to be in jeopardy of missing his second straight game.

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