Hero Rivers feared he had cost Chargers in KC
Philip Rivers was the Los Angeles Chargers' hero as they punched their ticket to the playoffs on Thursday, but he worried he had cost his team at the Kansas City Chiefs.
Having lost their previous nine against the Chiefs, the Chargers were up against it in Kansas City and, while Patrick Mahomes starred again for the home team, Rivers threw a couple of early interceptions.
Yet those errors mattered little as a remarkable finish saw Los Angeles, trailing by a point, go for a two-point conversion in the dying seconds in a bid to clinch the win.
Rivers picked out Mike Williams for a simple catch on a busted coverage and the Chargers were able to celebrate their return to the postseason for the first time since 2013, with their quarterback grateful to his team-mates for their efforts.
"We just kept playing. This place is unbelievable to play in," he told FOX. "It was hard, tough, and we'd lost a handful in a row [against the Chiefs].
"But this team just kept fighting. And what a call by coach [Anthony] Lynn to go for two, to say, 'Heck, let's just win it now'.
"I had two terrible turnovers in the first half and I thought it was going to cost us. In every other category, we held our own. We just turned the ball over and I was afraid it was going to cost us, but we overcame it as a team. It's a heck of a team win."
RESPECT. pic.twitter.com/sQpxQqJuQp— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) December 14, 2018
On the game-winning two-point conversion, Rivers explained: "Our first touchdown to Mike was that same play. We dressed it up a bit. I motioned to Travis [Benjamin] to come to the other side and it bust the coverage.
"It's just a heck of a team win. It didn't look good there for a long time. Our guys just kept fighting. It's a fun team to be around. This just means we're in the tournament. We know we've got a long way to go, but it's nice to be in. It's been a while."
Williams was central to the Chargers' win, scoring three touchdowns before he was left wide open at the last, and the wide receiver similarly lauded his team-mates' spirit.
"This is a group who don't quit until the end," Williams said. "We've had a lot of close games this year and we find ways to win.
"Last year, we weren't winning those games. This year, we are finding ways to win and you can see the fight in this group."