'THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR'-CHARGERS END SEASON WITH A DUD

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Photo: San Diego Chargers running back Brendan Oliver runs for a touchdown in the teams loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Courtesy of San Diego Chargers Facebook.

By Ryan Posner

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association (SDONA)

December 28, 2014 (San Diego)--Needing a win to earn a playoff spot, the San Diego Chargers lost to the Kansas City Chief, 19-7, Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, in Kansas City, Missouri, effectively ending their season.

Behind a patchwork offensive line, that consisted of the team’s fifth-string center and second-string right guard, quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked seven times.

Not to mention, the Bolts were also without their starting running back Ryan Mathews and starting wide receiver Keenan Allen, due to injuries.

The only bright spot for the Chargers offense was a six play 69-yard drive in the second quarter, that was capped off with a 1-yard rushing touchdown from rookie running back Brenden Oliver.

Coach Mike McCoy was confident in his team’s preparation, though, and believes that execution was the key factor in deciding the game.

“We were so focused, we had a phenomenal week of practice a good week of preparation and we had a lot of confidence coming in but we didn’t play well,” McCoy said at the post-game press conference. “We got beat.  (Kansas City) out-executed us in all three phases today and that’s why we’re where we are right now.”

Where the Chargers go now is into the offseason, and that was a tough pill to swallow for some of the players.

“Emotionally it’s just tough,” Rivers said at the post-game press conference. “Tough when it ends, you never plan on it.  You never plan on losing”

Tight end Antonio Gates became the fourth tight end in NFL history with  10,000 career yards, but the 34-year-old veteran was not able to relish the accomplishment Sunday.

“Not making it to the postseason, it hurts,” Gates said post-game. “Just the simple fact that all the hard work, the preparation and so much dedication was emphasized into our whole season.”

Kansas City was without its starting quarterback, San Diego native Alex Smith, but that did not seem to slow down its offense, thanks to great field position all game.

The Chargers outgained the Chiefs in yardage 361-251, but Kansas City was able to get kicker Cairo Santos in position for four field goals, which were the difference makers.

For the second straight season the Chargers finished 9-7 , and third in the AFC West.

However, there will not be a trip to the playoffs this year.