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Los Angeles Chargers Daily Links: Are the Chargers lucky to be in the playoffs?

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Your daily dose of Los Angeles Chargers news & notes from around the web.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Decline or Re-Charge? The Patriots are Still Here - Mike D'Abate
For a team that so many are content to dismiss as being in decline, the epitaph of the Patriots dynasty is already being prepared. It would be a great sociological experiment to see just how many social media posts on this subject are already ‘saved and queued-up’ for Sunday. The ‘haters’ just waiting with giddy anticipation for the opportunity for their fingers to hit ‘send.” It should be a safe bet to say it is more than a few.

Lucky moves that shaped all eight NFL playoff rosters - Bill Barnwell
The Chargers first signed Gates as an undrafted free agent in the hours after the 2003 draft, as part of a rookie free agent class that included future NFL veterans Kris Dielman (a defensive tackle who would eventually convert to guard), Stephen Cooper, Jacques Cesaire and Kassim Osgood. It's one of the best undrafted free-agent classes in league history, and Gates is the most notable contributor.

Division-champion Chiefs dominate AFC West awards - ESPN
What stood out about James this season for the Chargers was his versatility, as defensive coordinator Gus Bradley used him all over the field, including at free safety, strong safety, cornerback, defensive end and linebacker. Along with his unique skill set, one of the things Chargers coaches have praised James for is the energy he brings to the team on a daily basis, which helps the entire defense. "This guy genuinely loves the game and has a passion for it," Bradley said. "I think that filters to our players, as well."

What the Chargers have to do to beat the Patriots - Tyler Gallagher
Instead of bulking up by loading the box with linebackers, Bradley ran a whopping 98.3% of defensive snaps with 7 defensive backs. That decision turned out to be genius, as having speed on the field helped contain Jackson and kept the Ravens’ offense in a rut.

Prime-time Parlay: FPI predictions for the divisional round - ESPN.com
FPI actually thinks the Chargers are the slightly better team. But because this game is on the road -- and all the way across the country -- and because the Patriots have a rest advantage, it gives New England a solid shot to win. -- Walder

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