January 7, 2019 / 1:40 AM / 9 months ago

'Old man' Rivers will be younger quarterback against Patriots

(Reuters) - The LA Chargers take their road show to Massachusetts next Sunday for an NFL playoff game that will feature starting quarterbacks with a combined age of 78.

Jan 6, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) celebrates on the field against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter in a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at M&T Bank Stadium. The Chargers won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers, led by 37-year-old Philip Rivers, earned a place in the divisional round when they survived a late scare to best the Baltimore Ravens 23-17 in an AFC wildcard game on Sunday.

The result set up the first playoff game between the New England Patriots and Chargers since 2008.

The paths of New England quarterback Tom Brady, 41, and his LA counterpart Rivers could hardly have diverged more.

Brady has played in eight Super Bowls, five times on the winning side, while Rivers has yet to appear on the game’s biggest stage and, considering his age, this could be his last good chance.

The Patriots have won the AFC East 10 consecutive seasons, and are a formidable foe at home, but the Chargers will have few fears about traveling, beaten only once on the road all season, and that was against the LA Rams.

While the Chargers held on from the front on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles came from behind to beat the Chicago Bears 16-15 in a heart-stopping finish.

The result kept alive the Eagles’ hopes of successfully defending their Super Bowl title, though not without an almighty scare when Bears’ kicker Cody Parkey missed a field goal at the death by the narrowest of margins.

Parkey’s effort hit the upright, and then the crossbar for good measure.

Next up for the Eagles is a trip to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, while the Dallas Cowboys will visit the LA Rams on Saturday in the other NFC game.

Dallas beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-22 on Saturday.

The other divisional playoff game might be the most intriguing of all, as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC game on Saturday.

The Patriots, Saints, Rams and Chiefs had byes this weekend.

The Colts’ season looked all but done after starting 1-5 but have since won 10 of their last 11 behind the excellent play of quarterback Andrew Luck, including a 21-7 victory over the Houston Texans on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO - Dec 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the New York Jets in the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs are led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, 23, who is likely to hoist the league MVP trophy after throwing 50 touchdowns and leading Kansas City to an AFC best 12-4 record in his second season.

His composure, however, will be put to the test in his first career playoff start on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.

It will be the first meeting this season between the Chiefs and Colts.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Additional reporting by Gene Cherry and Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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