Football

Chargers claim bye with win over Titans

The San Diego Chargers earned the first-round bye they wanted and Philip Rivers remained perfect in December.

Tennessee's bid for NFL history? The Titans lost that right along with their post-season dream, looking like a throwback to the team that started the season 0-6.

Rivers threw two touchdown passes, LaDainian Tomlinson ran for two scores and the Chargers beat the Titans 42-17 on Friday night to grab the AFC's No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

The AFC West champs streaked to their 10th straight win and tied the 1970-74 Miami Dolphins for most consecutive wins in a month with their 18th in December dating to 2006. The Dolphins won 18 in a row in November.

Darren Sproles caught a TD pass and ran for two more scores to help San Diego (12-3) squash the Titans' dreams of becoming the NFL's first team to start 0-6 and rebound to make the playoffs. Tennessee (7-8) had hoped to top what the 1994 Chargers did in reaching the post-season after an 0-4 start.

Chris Johnson's quest to become only the sixth NFL player to run for 2,000 yards in a season remains alive as the only goal left for Tennessee. He ran for a TD and 142 yards to put him at 1,872 with the season finale at Seattle left. He also notched his 10th straight 100-yard rushing game, putting him behind only Barry Sanders (14) and Marcus Allen (11).

Titans Coach Jeff Fisher has yet to beat San Diego, losing his sixth of seven straight losses to the Chargers in the series.

The Titans, who had starting linebackers Keith Bulluck and David Thornton watching from the sideline because of injuries, simply disintegrated. Vince Young ran for a TD, but San Diego turned his three turnovers into 21 points. Tennessee also matched a season high with nine penalties.

Rivers, an Alabama native, had his own cheering section with approximately 70 tickets for family and friends. He gave them plenty to celebrate.

He threw for 264 yards and topped 4,000 yards passing for a second straight season. He directed the Chargers to TDs on six out of seven drives. The exception? His kneel-down to end the first half.

Tomlinson scored on a pair of 1-yard runs, the first giving San Diego a 7-3 lead it never lost. That also was his 137th rushing TD of the decade, topping the 136 TDs Emmitt Smith had in the 1990s for most in a decade in the NFL. Tomlinson's second put him at 138.

Three Titans were flagged for neutral-zone infractions on San Diego's first TD drive of the game, and Tennessee drew two 15-yarders at the end of the same play for another Chargers' TD drive. Defensive end William Hayes pushed Rivers too late, then officials flagged the Titans' sideline for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Young had been nearly perfect at home since coming off the bench. He had only four turnovers in going 7-1 as a starter. On Friday night, he turned it over on successive drives in the second quarter, first as Brandon Siler picked off a pass at the Tennessee 19. On the next, he fumbled as he scrambled at midfield.

Rivers made the Titans pay for each of Young's mistakes. He scrambled and found Antonio Gates wide open for a 36-yard TD upheld by review after Fisher challenged whether the quarterback was over the line of scrimmage when he let loose with the throw. After Young's fumble, Rivers tossed a 3-yarder to Sproles.

Westbrook ready to return

Eagles running back Brian Westbrook has completed a full week of practice and is expected play against Denver on Sunday after missing five weeks with a concussion.

Coach Andy Reid said Westbrook has "done well this week." Reid said Westbrook will be limited in his use and Reid will "stay in communication with him throughout the game."

Haynesworth sent home

Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was sent home from practice Friday for disciplinary reasons. Coach Jim Zorn said Haynesworth will still play Sunday against the Cowboys but might not start.

Haynesworth was fined $10,000 by the NFL on Thursday for an altercation with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs late in New York's 45-12 victory at Washington.

Rams mum on quarterback

Rams Coach Steve Spagnuolo still hasn't picked a starting quarterback for St. Louis' game at Arizona on Sunday. Rookie Keith Null started the last two games — the first when Kyle Boller was sidelined by a thigh injury, and the second after Boller had flulike symptoms for several days.

Boller returned to practice this week, but Spagnuolo has yet to tip his hand. Spagnuolo said Friday he has talked with both quarterbacks but wasn't ready to make a decision.

Around the league

Bills: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was limited in practice Friday and his availability for Sunday's game at Atlanta will be a game-time decision. Former Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm would start if Fitzpatrick can't go.

Broncos: Wide receiver Eddie Royal will not play in Sunday's game against the Eagles. Royal missed every practice this week with neck and hand injuries.

Panthers: Running back DeAngelo Williams is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Giants after missing his third straight practice with a sprained left ankle.

Patriots: Running back Fred Taylor is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against his former team, the Jaguars. Taylor has missed the last 10 games with an ankle injury. He participated fully in practices Wednesday and Thursday and on a limited basis Friday.

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