The San Diego Chargers made their statement in week 17 and defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime 27-24 to secure the six seed in the AFC playoffs. Their first hurdle is heading to Cincinnati to take on Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and the Bengals.
Give credit where credit is due, head coach Mike McCoy has done a terrific job improving the Chargers offense while slowing down on the turnovers and careless mistakes being made just a year ago.
Phillip Rivers has returned to his “All-Pro” form and while he and safety Eric Weddle punched their tickets to Hawaii and the Pro Bowl, Rivers plans to bring the high octane rain of offense and look to come out with a win and move on the playoffs. With reliable tight end Antonio Gates and a rising star in rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen (Offensive ROY candidate), and a healthy Ryan Matthews, the San Diego Chargers look to be one of those teams that no one really wants to play.
Though the Chargers struggled to get the win vs the Chiefs yesterday, they made the plays when they counted most. McCoy taking that fake punt gamble without question was the turning point of the entire game. Some may make the case that a missed penalty (overloaded line) on the missed field goal by Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop … which if called could have given the Chiefs another kick … could have cost the Chargers their spot. BUT in the end, the Chargers won and they are in the tournament.
All that they needed to do is get into the playoffs … for the playoffs are a new season and a new type of animal. Rivers and company is healthy … ready and primed but can they go into Cincinnati and upset the Bengals, that is a question that remains to be seen.
The early start time doesn’t play well into their favor … and the Bengals defense plays so much tougher at home and for some crazy reason, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton thrives at home … kind of a Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde complex deal when it comes to his play home vs away. So the Chargers may have to be looking to score point for point and make timely defensive plays to win this one.
Can it be done … YES it can because the Chargers have the tools. Will it be done … that remains to be seen. One thing is for certain, a healthy Rivers, a healthy Matthews and the rest of the Chargers will be charged, primed and ready to make the most of this opportunity … looking to make a playoff run.
Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said it best one year, “Go Chargers Go.”