Chargers 27, Cardinals 20

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SAN DIEGO (AP) – Philip Rivers hobbled off the field in the third quarter, his day’s work finished and the San Diego Chargers on their way to owning the AFC’s top seed in the playoffs.

Rivers threw two touchdown passes after injuring his right foot, and LaDainian Tomlinson also limped off after wrapping up his first NFL rushing title in leading the Chargers to a 27-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

The Chargers (14-2) clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. They’d already earned a first-round bye, which will give Rivers and Tomlinson time to heal. Their exact injuries weren’t disclosed.

San Diego heads into the playoffs with a 10-game winning streak and its first perfect home record since 1963. The Chargers’ 14 wins and eight home victories are club records.

Tomlinson ran for 66 yards, giving him 1,815 and the league rushing title. He beat Larry Johnson of the division rival Kansas City Chiefs, who had 1,789.

Tomlinson did not score for the second straight game. He already was the league’s most prolific scorer in a single season, with 31 touchdowns and 186 points.

Rivers apparently was hurt when he was sacked by Chike Okeafor late in the first quarter. He missed the first play of the next drive while being treated on the sideline, then returned and went 5-for-6 for 82 yards, including a 33-yard TD pass to tight end Antonio Gates that gave the Chargers a 10-7 lead.

He threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson late in the first half, and continued to play even after the Chargers built a 17-point third-quarter lead. He clearly was bothered by the injury, pulling up and limping each time he threw a pass.

Dennis Green might have coached his last game for Arizona (5-11). He is 16-32 in three seasons.

AP-ES-12-31-06 1906EST

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