Rapid Reaction: San Diego Chargers
December, 29, 2013
By Eric D. Williams | ESPN.com
SAN DIEGO -- A few thoughts on the San Diego Chargers' 27-24 overtime win against the Kansas City Chiefs.
What it means: Everything fell into place for the Chargers to reach the postseason for the first time since 2009, with Baltimore and Miami losing early games. All San Diego had to do was beat a Kansas City squad playing mostly reserves because the Chiefs had already clinched a postseason spot. With the help of a Ryan Succop missed 41-yard field goal at the end of regulation, the Chargers got it done to finish 9-7 on the season. With the final AFC wild-card spot and No. 6 seed, San Diego now moves on to face a familiar foe in Cincinnati, the AFC's No. 3 seed. The Chargers lost to the Bengals 17-10 earlier this season at Qualcomm Stadium.
Mathews to the rescue: Running back Ryan Mathews again came up big, finishing with 144 rushing yards on 24 carries. It's the sixth time this season Mathews rushed for over 100 yards in a game. Mathews finished the season with a career-high 1,255 yards.
No defense for Chargers' D: With nine different starters on offense, including reserve quarterback Chase Daniel and running back Knile Davis, San Diego's defense could not contain Kansas City's patchwork offense. The Chargers allowed over 150 rushing yards, but held firm when they needed to most at the end of the game.
Stock watch: Keenan Allen had another big game, finishing with five receptions for 89 yards to top 1,000 receiving yards for the season, boosting his chances to earn offensive rookie of the year.
What's next: The Chargers travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals in an AFC wild-card game next weekend.