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Chargers clinch fifth playoff seed, will face Jaguars

DENVER — The Chargers clinched the fifth-seeded in the AFC wild-card playoffs and a date with the fourth-seeded Jacksonville Jaguars, and they did it without lifting a finger Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ 27-16 victory over the Baltimore Ravens clinched it for them.

The NFL was expected to announce the times and dates for wild-card weekend later Sunday. The Chargers will face the Jaguars in Jacksonville either Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Jacksonville thumped the Chargers 38-10 in an injury-filled game Sept. 25 at SoFi Stadium.

In that game, edge rusher Joey Bosa injured his groin and sat out for the next 12 before returning for the Chargers’ victory over the Rams last Sunday. Wide receiver Jalen Guyton suffered a season-ending knee injury and left tackle Rashawn Slater ruptured his biceps tendon.

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The Chargers (10-6) clinched their first playoff berth since the 2018 season with a victory Dec. 26 over the Indianapolis Colts, and began Sunday knowing they would be either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed.

They won four consecutively going into Sunday’s game against the Broncos, which turned into an opportunity to play some of their backups after Cincinnati beat Baltimore.

Jacksonville (9-8) clinched the AFC South to become the fourth seed with a victory Saturday over the Tennessee Titans, the Jaguars’ fifth consecutive victory after a five-game losing streak earlier in the season. Only five teams in league history have had such streaks and made the playoffs.

More to come.

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