All the Chargers had to do Sunday was take care of business against a backup QB in Kansas City.
It wasn’t meant to be.
The Chargers season ended with a 19-7 loss to the Chiefs, that allowed the Ravens to sneak into the 6th spot in the AFC with their home win over the Browns.
Justin Houston had four sacks for the Chiefs (9-7) to break Derrick Thomas’s franchise record with 22 in the season.
Cairo Santos kicked four field goals, and Chase Daniel played well enough in place of injured quarterback Alex Smith, throwing for 157 yards without an interception.
The Chiefs’ only touchdown came when wide receiver Dwayne Bowe fumbled inches shy of the goal line early in the second quarter. Tight end Travis Kelce recovered in the end zone.
Philip Rivers had 291 yards passing for the Chargers (9-7), going 4,000 yards in a season for the sixth time in his career. Branden Oliver ran for 71 yards and a touchdown.
The Chargers will look back on its season finale as one of wasted opportunities.
Nick Novak missed a 52-yard field goal attempt late in the third quarter. Midway through the fourth, a touchdown pass to Eddie Royal was overturned by a video review when the ball appeared to skip off the turf — San Diego went for it on fourth down and Rivers threw an incomplete pass. Then with about 4 minutes left, Donald Brown was stuffed on fourth-and-1 at the Chiefs 20.
Rivers was intercepted for a second time in the closing seconds of the game.
Injuries also crippled San Diego’s postseason hopes.
After starting the game without running back Ryan Mathews, wide receiver Keenan Allen and center Chris Watt, the banged-up Chargers watched right tackle D.J. Fluker walked slowly to the locker room late in the first half. He joined safety Marcus Gilchrist (elbow), cornerback Shareece Wright (head injury) and wide receiver Eddie Royal, who got hurt late in the game.
The Chargers wound up losing three of their final four games. They also lost both games to Kansas City, the first time they’d been swept in the season series since the 2003 season.