NFL Playoffs Sunday, January 5

The Chargers snuck into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season with a little help from the Bengals, and San Diego unabashedly gave thanks by continuing Cincinnati's postseason misery on Sunday. Philip Rivers played mistake-free ball and the plucky Chargers took advantage of three second-half turnovers from Andy Dalton to knock off the favored Bengals, 27-10, in the Wild Card Round of the AFC playoffs. Dalton got sloppy when a mix of rain and snow began falling at Paul Brown Stadium, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble that the Bengals, who have not won a postseason game since 1991, couldn't overcome. It was the first loss at home by Cincinnati the entire season. Rivers threw for a modest 128 yards but tossed a go-ahead touchdown pass to Ladarius Green in the third quarter that started a string of 20 unanswered points that earned San Diego a trip to Denver next Sunday to face the top-seeded Broncos.

For the second straight postseason, San Francisco is responsible for sending Green Bay packing. Phil Dawson drilled a 33-yard field goal as time expired to lift the 49ers to a 23-20 victory over the Packers in the Wild Card Round of the NFC playoffs from the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Mason Crosby connected on a game-tying 24-yard field goal with just over five minutes to play, but Colin Kaepernick utilized his arm and his legs to move San Francisco down the field. The dual-threat quarterback converted a 3rd-and-10 from his own 31 with a 17- yard strike to Michael Crabtree before scurrying 11 yards to the Green Bay 27 on 3rd-and-8 with just over a minute remaining. Frank Gore then carried the ball on the next three plays, including a 3-yard plunge on 3rd-and-3 that gave San Francisco a fresh set of downs at the 17. Following another Gore run, the 49ers let the clock run down before calling a timeout with two seconds left to set the stage for Dawson's game-winning kick.

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

1 day 16 hours ago

The KLPW Radio Athlete of the Week is Union Quarterback Blake Hulsey. Last year as a junior, Blake completed 244 passes on 340 attempts for 3,316 yards, 28 touchdowns and just six interceptions. That's a completion percentage of 71.76 percent and rating of 130.242. He also carried the ball 148 times for 664 yards and 18 touchdowns. Blake also averaged more than 40 yards per punt.

OFF THE CUFF with Diane Jones

1 week 6 days ago

I have been behind the microphone for 10 years now. In the course of time, I have covered many elections and have seen first-hand how bruising and hurtful campaigns can be to people. None have been as difficult to watch, however, as the annexation battle in Washington--which pitted good people who care about their community against good people who care about their community.

OFF THE CUFF ARCHIVE

COMMUNITY MUST HEAL: A CHALLENGE - 08/06/2014 - 3:18pm
Senior Games Embrace Life! - 06/23/2014 - 11:23am
Evil at UC Santa Barbara - 05/27/2014 - 11:22am

SPORTS CORNER

14 hours 22 min ago

The Cardinals play game-two of their three-game set against the Reds tonight. St. Louis is 67-and-57 and sits two-and-a-half games behind Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central. The Cards will march John Lackey out to the mound. Lackey is 1-and-1 in three starts since being traded from Boston. Cincinnati counters with 12-and-8 Alfredo Simon.