The last time San Diego and Kansas City met, Chiefs linebacke
Undated (AP) _ The last time San Diego and Kansas City met, Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas sacked Stan Humphries four times in the first half as the Chargers lost 16-14.
That was Nov. 8. This time, San Diego hopes to be ready. After all, it’s the playoffs.
″I definitely don’t think I’ll be out on an island like I was that first half,″ Chargers tackle Harry Swayne said. ″I think we’ll have to throw some different things at him, and sometimes I won’t be singled up on him.″
That loss at Kansas City was San Diego’s only one after an 0-4 start. The AFC West champion Chargers finished 11-5 and the wild-card Chiefs 10-6.
They meet Saturday in the first of two AFC first-round playoff games.
The other Saturday game has NFC wild-card Washington (9-7) at NFC Central champion Minnesota (11-5).
On Sunday, it’s all wild cards: Houston at Buffalo in the AFC and Philadelphia at New Orleans in the NFC.
In the next round of the playoffs, Pittsburgh in the AFC and San Francisco in the NFC will play the wild-card team with the worst record. Miami in the AFC and Dallas in the NFC get the other survivor.
Pittsburgh and San Francisco are guaranteed the home-field advantage as long as they keep winning.
So, if Kansas City wins, the Chiefs play Pittsburgh. If Chiefs lose, Pittsburgh plays the Houston-Buffalo winner. The Steelers can’t play San Diego in the second round.
If Washington wins, the Redskins play San Francisco in the next round. If not, the Philadelphia-New Orleans winner plays the 49ers. The only team the 49ers can’t meet in the second round of the playoffs is Minnesota.
Swayne was left alone against Thomas until the Chargers made some halftime adjustments. Thomas also caused two fumbles, recovering one, to set up 10 points as Kansas City took a 13-0 halftime lead.
Humphries dislocated his left shoulder in a season-ending victory over Seattle and is listed as questionable for the game, although he has practiced this week.
″Up front we know that Stan’s hurting and he might need to go through the game without being touched,″ Swayne said. ″If he’s touched, he might be back on the sideline again. We’re going to execute and watch every step we take, even after the ball is thrown.″
The Vikings have activated their leading receiver, Cris Carter, for the playoffs. Carter spent 4 1/2 weeks on injured reserve with a broken collarbone.
Because Hassan Jones also has been hurt, the Vikings had been playing with only three receivers on the roster. Jones, who has a bad back, isn’t expected to play on Saturday.
The Redskins admit they are not the same team that won the last Super Bowl, and you only have to be able to add to figure it out. Last year, the Redskins scored 485 points. This year, they scored 300.
″All year, we miss a play here, we miss a play there, and we’re not scoring points,″ quarterback Mark Rypien said. ″No question, it’s been frustrating.″
The Redskins escaped from the Metrodome with a 15-13 victory in Week 7 during the season, but they paid the price, especially Rypien. He was sacked twice and hit nearly a dozen other times, and he was so woozy he started calling plays that weren’t in the Washington playbook.
″They strive on putting pressure on, and you just have to hang in there and make the plays,″ Rypien said. ″You can just expect to get hit when you play these guys.″