QUALCOMM STADIUM (12/29/2013) With the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens eliminated from playoff contention, standing in the way of the San Diego Chargers (9-7) and the final seed in the AFC playoffs were the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5), who had already clinched the fifth seed and decided to rest 20 out of 22 of their starters.
After trailing 24-14 in the fourth quarter, the Chargers put up 13 unanswered points, including a 36-yard field goal by Nick Novak with 05:30 left in overtime to secure their first playoff berth since 2009.
The Chiefs had a chance to win it with eight seconds left in the fourth quarter, but Ryan Succop missed a 41-yard field goal and the game went into overtime tied 24-24.
On the opening drive of the game, the Chiefs needed just five plays to score on a 17-yard touchdown run by running back Knile Davis, who was playing for Jamaal Charles.
The Chargers struck back on a 5-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Phillip Rivers to tight end Ladarius Green.
The Chiefs were forced to punt on the ensuing drive, but Rivers' pass was intercepted by cornerback Ron Parker. The only turnover of the game set up a two-yard touchdown catch by Dexter McCluster that gave the Chiefs a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Chargers answered again with a 4-yard touchdown connection from Rivers to Antonio Gates that tied the score 14-14, but the second-team Chiefs refused to go down.
Davis ran in his second touchdown of the game to give the Chiefs a 21-14 lead at halftime.
The Chargers became the sixth team in NFL history to make the playoffs under the current format after starting the season 5-7 or worse. They will visit the No. 3 seed Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card game on Sunday, Jan. 5th at 10:05 pacific time. The Bengals defeated the Chargers 17-10 at Qualcomm Stadium in week 13.
RB Ryan Mathews
22 carries for 144 yards
WR Keenan Allen
Five catches for 89 yards
1,046 receiving yards in 2013 (Chargers rookie record)
FS Eric Weddle
2-yard run for a first down on a fake punt in overtime, led to game-winning FG