Chargers overcome less than 1 percent chance to advance to first postseason since 2013
Unfortunately for in-game trackers, Philip Rivers doesn’t follow most metrics.
While the right edge of the end zone reading ‘CHIEFS’ may get the most attention and be replayed within the minds of Bolts fans for years to come, it is the stripes lining the center of the field that will be etched into the nightmares of Kansas City supporters: those markers, 42 of them coupling to make up the 26 yards Travis Benjamin gashed through with the Chargers holding onto less hope than a Vegas degenerate putting it all on 00.
Just like the pusher at the table grasping at the unlikeliest of possibilities the ball will land on green, the Bolts were down to their final opportunity.
Facing 4th and 7 at the KC 36, Rivers was under pressure. Not just the pressure of losing each of the last nine games to the Chiefs; not just the pressure of a win securing the Chargers first playoff appearance since 2013; pressure from a suffocating defense that had already tallied five sacks on the night.
Rivers, displaying his telepathic senses, slung the ball out from duress to Benjamin, who had not even turned around yet. Benjamin, who saw all 57 yards come on the final drive, was still dealing with creating separation from DB Kendall Fuller.
4th & 8 with the game on the line, Philip Rivers AGAIN finds Travis Benjaminpic.twitter.com/zwClNCiyYT
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) December 14, 2018
When Benjamin finally made his turn to look for the ball, the space wasn’t great, but then again, neither were their odds of winning the game.
Rivers slipped the ball past an outstretched Fuller, who was a finger nail clipping-less night away from deflecting it, directly into the waiting arms of his seven-year veteran receiver.
With Fuller lying on the ground grasping nothing but air, Benjamin barreled for another seven yards down to the KC 10.
From there, well, the night played out as most know. Questionable calls led to questionable field position, ultimately leading to a questionable no call on a non-questionable touchdown that was reviewed for far too long and a gutsy two-point conversion that embarrassed a questionable secondary.
“We didn’t come here to tie,” head coach Anthony Lynn said at his postgame news conference. “We came here to win. So to me, it was a no-brainer.”
Thursday was the 11th time in Rivers’ career he’s led a comeback from 14 points or more, the most of any active quarterback.
With the AFC West title still in limbo and, more importantly, the Lombardi Trophy out of touch for another six weeks, at least the Chargers can breath knowing for the first time in five years they will have a shot to be the ones hoisting it after clinching a playoff berth.
So, next time Rivers steps onto the field, check the roulette table for any open green spots.
“Never tell me the odds!”
- AFC West
- FOX Sports West
- FOX Sports West - Chargers
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Kendall Fuller
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Philip Rivers
- Travis Benjamin