Chiefs rest starters, lose 27-24 to Chargers in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm •  Published: December 29, 2013

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs had nothing to play for and rested 20 of 22 starters.

They still almost beat San Diego with its season on the line.

Already assured of the AFC's No. 5 seed, the Chiefs lost 27-24 in overtime Sunday to the division rival Chargers, who claimed the conference's final postseason berth.

After the Chiefs blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead.

Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop was wide right on a potential game-winning, 41-yard field goal try with 4 seconds left in regulation.

"I was proud of the guys for the way they battled," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "Our guys came out and gave everything they could to take it into overtime and have a chance to win it. We would've liked to have come out on the positive side there, but we came out on the short end. Now there will be three AFC West teams in the playoffs, so that's positive."

Nick Novak kicked a 36-yard field goal with 5:30 left in overtime. The Chargers then held the Chiefs on downs to win it after they reached the San Diego 41.

Earlier in the day, the Chargers (9-7) got the help they needed when Miami and Baltimore both lost. San Diego has won four straight and five of six heading into a wild-card game next Sunday at AFC North champion Cincinnati.

The Chiefs (11-5) go into the playoffs having lost five of seven. They play Saturday at AFC South champion Indianapolis, which won 23-7 in Kansas City last week.

"I look at the positive of it," Reid said of resting so many starters, including Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles and quarterback Alex Smith. "We got a lot of guys in to get practice with the game plan if we do meet up with San Diego again. And the guys came out and played, I think that's the positive part of it. You get to see, from a depth perspective, that you've got some guys who can play and want to compete."

With the Chargers on the verge of an embarrassing collapse against Kansas City's backups, Philip Rivers threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal early in the fourth quarter and Novak kicked a 22-yard field goal to tie it with 3:21 left in regulation.

After Succop missed at the end of the fourth quarter, the Chiefs lost the overtime coin toss and the Chargers, who stunned their AFC West rivals 41-38 in Kansas City on Nov. 24, elected to receive.

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