Friday, January 03, 2014

SPORTS - San Diego Chargers Make it to Playoffs

My home-town team.

"Chargers seek first playoff win since 2008" by Eric D. Williams, ESPN 1/2/2014

They are doing their best Rodney Dangerfield imitation.

According to San Diego Chargers coach Mike McCoy, his team doesn't get any respect.

"We have been the underdog all year long," McCoy said.  "It doesn't matter to us.  We are just concerned about how the organization feels about ourselves."

At 5-7 with four weeks left in the season, the Chargers were given one percent chance of making the postseason, according to Football Outsiders.

But then a weird thing happened, the Chargers started winning games and gaining confidence.  Injured players such as linebackers Jarret Johnson and Melvin Ingram, along with offensive tackle King Dunlap returned to the lineup.

"Everyone counted us out a month ago," McCoy said.  "No one thought we could do this except the players, the couches and everyone else in the organization."

The Chargers are 7-point underdogs heading into Sunday's contest at Cincinnati, the largest point spread of any of this weekend's opening-round playoff games.  San Diego has not won a playoff game since 2008.

However, the Chargers face a Cincinnati squad that has had even worse playoff luck.  Cincinnati is 1-5 in wild card or first-round games.  And the Bengals haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season.

Even though they are the favorites, Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton said his team will not be overconfident heading into this one.

"We have to understand what's at stake in this game," Dalton said.  "For us, we know that they've been playing well since we've played them.  They're 4-0 since we've played them out there.  It's going to be a tough matchup.  It's the playoffs, so there's a lot riding on it.  We know what's at stake."

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said he's not paying attention to his team's odds of getting a road victory on Sunday.

"I think the underdog and favorite talk is more for the outside," Rivers said.  "I know everyone in our locker room thinks we are going to win, and I know everyone in their locker room thinks they are going to win.

"They beat us five weeks ago.  We have seen in the postseason that anyone can win.  Whoever can play the best for 60 minutes will advance."

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