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Chargers still alive in chase for AFC West title

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by RaiderRay, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers...Go Padres, Gulls, Ducks, Raiders Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    Source: Associated Press

    SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Chargers know that their 31-0 win over AFC West leader Kansas City means only that their hopes of winning the division remain alive at least until their next game.

    That next game gets here a lot quicker than normal. The Chargers (7-6) will play host Thursday night to the San Francisco 49ers, who at 5-8 still have a chance to win the awful NFC West.

    The Chargers pulled within one game of the Chiefs (8-5), who played without quarterback Matt Cassel.

    "For me, that game doesn't mean anything if we don't go win Thursday," Rivers said on Monday. "To me, that's the way each one of these games is going to be once we win them, then it's going to become a moot point if we don't go win the next game.

    "I think we've put ourselves in a position now, one game back, obviously we understand nothing has changed," Rivers added. "We've got to go win the rest of them. That's all we can control. You never know what can happen, not just for the Chiefs, but you never know what can happen in three weeks."

    After playing the 49ers, the Chargers have road games against Cincinnati on Dec. 26 and Denver on Jan. 2.

    "If we can do our part again, as long as we can look up on the second and say, 'Hey, we held up our end,' and if it's enough, we'll live for another week. If not, we'll have to grin and bear it."

    The Chargers are in this position because of a 2-5 start during which they committed a numbing amount of special teams mistakes and turnovers. A four-game winning streak was followed by a 28-13 loss to Oakland in which they were outmuscled on both sides of the ball.

    In 2008, the Chargers won the AFC West at 8-8, winning their final four games even as Denver was staging a historic collapse.

    "This feels a little better than 2008. That was a little worse," Rivers said. "I certainly feel a little better today than I did then."

    The Chargers held the Chiefs to 67 yards in total offense, the second-fewest allowed in team history. The team record is 58 yards in a game against Oakland, played in San Francisco, on Oct. 22, 1961.

    "It's great when you can go out and play at that level," coach Norv Turner said. "It certainly was one of the best defensive performances you're going to have an opportunity to see, one of the best ones in the history of the Chargers."

    The 49ers beat Seattle 40-21 on Sunday. Alex Smith threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns in a triumphant return to the starting lineup and Seattle had five turnovers.

    "As long as we take care of our business, they won't put 40 up on us," Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason(notes) said. "I truly believe that. For us to be a confident team like we are, we need to prepare like we always have during this short week. If we take care of our business, we're going to be fine."

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