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Chargers get Bengals in playoffs

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- San Diego finished off a rally to get into the postseason, beating short-handed Kansas City 27-24 in overtime. The Chargers (9-7) won their last four games, and when Miami and Baltimore lost earlier in the day, they rode Nick Novak's 36-yard field goal with 5:30 left in OT to the sixth seed.

Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop was wide right on a 41-yard field goal to win it with 4 seconds left in regulation. Pittsburgh would have gotten the playoff spot over San Diego had Succop connected.

The Chiefs (11-5) are the AFC's fifth seed and will play at the Colts (11-5), winners of the AFC South. Indianapolis, which beat Jacksonville 30-10, won 23-7 in Kansas City last weekend.

San Diego travels to AFC North winner Cincinnati (11-5).

''We didn't play our best game, but teams that are playoff teams find a way to win when you don't play your best and that's what we did today,'' Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said.

The defending NFL champion Ravens will stay home. The Bengals beat Baltimore 34-17, ensuring the Ravens (8-8) were eliminated once Pittsburgh (8-8) defeated Cleveland 20-7.

''Not going to the playoffs hurts,'' running back Ray Rice said. ''I'm not used to having this kind of time on my hands.''

Miami (8-8) lost to the New York Jets 20-7, putting the Steelers - who began the season 0-4 - in position to advance if San Diego slipped up at home against a team that rested 20 of 22 starters.

The Chargers nearly did, but survived.

AFC West champion Denver (13-3), the highest-scoring team in NFL history, earned the No. 1 seed in the conference by romping at Oakland 34-14. New England (12-4), the AFC East winner, will be the second seed and also have a bye next weekend. The Patriots beat Buffalo 34-20.

Baltimore made the playoffs in each of coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco's first five seasons. The Ravens took the AFC North title last season on the way to beating the 49ers in the Super Bowl.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
 

 

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