Kansas City Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop blows it, San Diego Chargers clinch final AFC playoff spot

Anwar S Richardson
Shutdown Corner

Congratulations, Ryan Succop. You are now public enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh.

The Chiefs kicker had a chance seal Kansas City’s victory, and clinch a playoff spot for the Steelers, if he made a 41-yard field goal against San Diego with eight seconds remaining. The game was tied, and Succop had an opportunity to eliminate the Chargers, who needed a win or a tie to take the AFC's final wild-card spot. Then Succop missed the kick wide right.

Succop, by the way, was born in Pittsburgh. He might not want to visit anytime soon.

Instead, San Diego won in overtime and is the improbable No. 6 seed in the AFC. The Chargers will travel to Cincinnati next week, and the Chiefs will play at Indianapolis. The Broncos are the first seed, and the Patriots clinched the second seed.

San Diego took advantage of Succop’s miscue in overtime. Chargers kicker Nick Novak made a 36-yard field goal in overtime, and the Chiefs couldn't score on their possession, sealing a 27-24 San Diego victory. The Chargers needed a tie or a win to clinch a playoff berth, a position they were in thanks to a couple of fortunate results in the early games.

First, San Diego needed the Dolphins and Ravens to lose. The Dolphins were favored at home. The Jets pulled off a 20-7 upset at Miami. Then, despite four interceptions by Cincinnati's Andy Dalton, the Bengals beat the Ravens 34-17.

Two weeks ago, the San Diego Union-Tribune noted, via Football Outsiders, that the Chargers had a three percent chance of making the playoffs. San Diego needed six scenarios to occur over the past two weeks in order to make the playoffs. Even though it seemed impossible, all six scenarios happened. San Diego will make its first playoff appearance since the 2009 season.

Even if Succop won't be welcomed in Pittsburgh, he'll always have fans in San Diego.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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