Cheering for Patriots doesn’t help Rivers, Bolts

Philip Rivers was cheering hard for the New England Patriots on

Sunday.

”Certainly one of the few times I ever have,” the San Diego

Chargers quarterback said Monday.

It didn’t help. Miami held on to beat New England, hurting the

Chargers’ already long-shot chances of earing the AFC’s No. 2

wild-card berth.

Even if they beat Oakland on Sunday and then Kansas City in the

regular-season finale to finish with a four-game winning streak,

the Chargers (7-7) could still miss the playoffs for the fourth

straight year. Their fate rests with how Miami and Baltimore

finish. Miami (8-6) beat the Chargers on Nov. 17 and Baltimore was

7-6 going into Monday night’s game at Detroit.

The Chargers have no one to blame but themselves for their

diminishing odds of playing in January. While they might not do so

publically, they’ll certainly bemoan losses at Washington and Miami

during a stretch of four defeats in five games. The most glaring

loss was at Washington, when the Chargers had the ball

first-and-goal at the Washington 1 and had to settle for a tying

field goal before losing in overtime.

”There’s nothing we can do to change them,” Rivers said of

those losses. ”I think that’s just natural to reflect back on

games that you didn’t finish or let get away that you know have

caused you to be in the bind you are. But what I think is most

important for our team is to try to win another division game and

get to 8-7.”

Receiver Eddie Royal also was pulling hard for the Patriots on

Sunday.

”You hope things happen and play out the way that we have a

chance to get in because that’s the ultimate goal, to make the

playoffs,” Royal said. ”You want that, but at the same time we’ve

still got to win these last two.

”You like to be able to control your own destiny, but that’s

just the nature of the business and how it all worked out for us,”

he added. ”Right now we’ve just got to win these last two games.

We’ve got to take care of that and then see what happens. We can’t

worry about anything else because if we don’t handle our business,

it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”

Miami’s victory stole from the euphoria of San Diego’s big upset

at Denver on Thursday night.

”We’re 7-7, so we put ourselves in this position,” said safety

Eric Weddle, who sat out Monday’s practice to rest. ”We can lament

and kick ourselves for those losses or we can worry about what we

can control and that’s two games left in the season. I really don’t

care what happened the previous 14 games because they’re gone and

I’m focusing on the Raiders. That’s what the whole team is focusing

on and trying to build on what we’ve done the last couple of weeks

and finish the season strong.”

The Chargers lost 27-17 at Oakland on Oct. 6, when they had five

turnovers. The Raiders were routed 56-21 by Kansas City on Sunday

and have clinched last place in the AFC West.

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