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Old 12-20-2005, 08:16 AM
TomWilkinson TomWilkinson is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 118
Default Chargers End the Streak, But Still Must Continue to Win

The San Diego Chargers got a history making win at Indianapolis against the Colts, but that win only kept them alive for the playoffs, they still must win out and get help.

The Chargers ended Indianapolis unbeaten season with a 26-17 win at the RCA Dome on Sunday. The problem for San Diego is that in order to make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in a decade, the Chargers (9-5) must win at Kansas City on Saturday and then beat AFC West-leading Denver at home on Dec. 31, and have either Pittsburgh or Jacksonville lose at least one game.

"We believed we were going to go there and win, keep our playoff hopes alive," quarterback Drew Brees said. "Of course, everybody's talking about the streak being broken and everything else. But really, for us, that was just another team in our path and another game we had to win in order to go on and achieve the goals we set at the beginning of the year."

The Chargers are in this mess because they lost the previous week to Miami at home in a game they were supposed to win. But that wasn't San Diego's only bad loss. The Chargers also had home losses to Dallas and Pittsburgh, not to mention a loss at Philadelphia when they had a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown in the closing minutes, and one at Denver when they blew a 14-3 halftime lead. "We can kick ourselves all we want for the five losses we've had, but it's not going to do us any good except probably make us mad," Brees said. "So, we've pushed that aside a long time ago.

"We understand that if we take care of our business against Kansas City and then Denver, that things will work out. Somehow, some way they will work out. I still feel like we control our own destiny, just in the fact that if we just care about ourselves, let other teams beat up on one another, things will work out for us."

Jacksonville is 10-4, with its last two games at Houston and at home against Tennessee, teams with a combined 6-22 record. Pittsburgh is tied with San Diego at 9-5, but beat the Chargers 24-22 on Oct. 10. The Steelers finish at Cleveland and at home against Detroit, teams that are a combined 9-19.

The other problem for San Diego is that the Chiefs have won 17 consecutive home games in December dating to 1997, when Marty Schottenheimer was their coach.

"I think it's the fans. The place is crazy," said Schottenheimer, who's in his fourth season as the Chargers' coach. "It's a good crazy, if you're Kansas City."

Said Brees: "I feel like we had a lot of confidence in going there and playing. Obviously we understand that it's a tough environment and the Chiefs play very, very well at home."
Tom Wilkinson
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