CINCINNATI -- Good morning. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated says that the San Diego Chargers could be this year’s Cinderella in the postseason. Banks: “Denver's a 10-point favorite over San Diego heading into next weekend, but get ready to hear all about [Peyton] Manning's mediocre 9-11 career playoff record, his eight one-and-done playoff trips and how the Chargers have blocked his path before. In 2007, when the 13-3 defending Super Bowl champion Colts were the No. 2 seed and No. 3 San Diego was 11-5, it was Rivers and the Chargers (with a clutch relief outing from backup quarterback Billy Volek) who went into the RCA Dome in Indianapolis and dispatched Manning and the favored Colts 28-24.”
ESPN Bengals beat reporter Coley Harvey writes that Andy Dalton once again struggled in the postseason.
ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha says that even though the Chargers are riding an emotional high after advancing past Cincinnati, Denver awaits.
Chadiha: “Manning and his record-setting offense will have to find a way to attack a mediocre defense that seems to play its best against Denver. The Broncos’ defense also will have to frustrate Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers without the benefit of injured Pro Bowl outside linebacker Von Miller. It says here that the Denver will do both and advance. But don’t be surprised if the Broncos walk away from that contest with more bumps and bruises than they already have.”
Michael Lev of the Orange County Register notes that the Chargers continue to show resiliency by advancing to the AFC divisional round.
Lindsay Jones of USA Today says that the Chargers are not satisfied with winning a game in the playoffs. They want to make a deep playoff run.
Mark Sessler of NFL.com writes that San Diego’s commitment to the running game has paid off.
Ricky Henne of Chargers.com reports that more than 500 fans welcomed home players on their arrival at Chargers Park.
Marty Caswell of The Mighty 1090 has a brief interview with San Diego native golfer Phil Mickelson reacting to the Chargers' victory. Check out the video.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports says the Chargers' improbable ride continues.
Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports that Ryan Mathews expects to play against the Broncos. Mathews has been nursing a nagging ankle injury and did not play most of the second half.