SAN DIEGO -- Win and in -- if it were only that easy for the San Diego Chargers.
Instead, their only guarantee for reaching the playoffs is to beat the Kansas City Chiefs and keep their fingers crossed that the Miami Dolphins lose to the visiting New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens go down against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"It's not as good as the teams like Dallas or Chicago if they win out, they're in," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. "But to have chance considering where we were a couple of weeks ago, if you said, 'Hey, week 17 you're going to have a chance to make it.' I don't know that we could've asked for much else based on what we did in the previously part of the season."
The Chargers had a slow start and were left for dead before reeling off this three-game winning streak. There are losses on their resumes to the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins which still sting. They also feel to others that has them in the ditch they reside.
"We dug ourselves in this hole, put ourselves in this situation, conference record, and loss some head-to-head games against teams that are good teams but we knew the significance of them, and we didn't get them down," Rivers said.
The Chargers already eclipsed last year's seven-win total from last year in coach Mike McCoy's rookie season. That is impressive in itself, but so is the personality this team has formed during the late-season rally.
"We just kept fighting," McCoy said. "That has been the story of our football team all year long. We just have to keep fighting and put ourselves in a position for the opportunity that lies ahead this weekend against a good Kansas City football team."
The Chargers will know their fate before kickoff with the Dolphins and Ravens kicking off in the earlier games.
The Chargers could be facing the Chiefs with everything on the line.
Or absolutely nothing.
The Chiefs don't, really, have anything at stake. They'll be the AFC's No. 5 seed before the game, and after it, regardless of the final score.
Not so with the Chargers.
"We have to worry about ourselves first and that is what we are going to do," McCoy said. "We are going to work extremely hard this week at practice and see what takes place this weekend."
It just long be, for the Chargers, a final regular-season weekend to remember.
NOTES: WR Keenan Allen is looking to add to some very impressive rookie numbers. Allen, a third-round pick, leads all Chargers receivers with 66 catches, 957 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.