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A Raw and Honest Philip Rivers Opens Up as Season Ends

As the Chargers celebrated their 30-10 victory on the field, they did so knowing their season had come to an end.

The Tennessee Titans had all but wrapped up a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, ending the team's postseason hopes.

As disappointing as that is, there is still plenty to be proud of after the Chargers rebounded from an 0-4 start to finish the year 9-7.

Let that sink in for a second.

After an 0-4 start, the Bolts finished 2017 with a winning record.

Head Coach Anthony Lynn opened his postgame press conference acknowledging how odd it is to feel morose over an impressive victory that brought the team to 9-7. But, his answer summed up how the entire locker room feels as 2017 comes to an end.

"Well, I don't know why I'm standing up here like we lost the game; we won the game," he said.  "I thought the guys finished.  They played hard.  These last 12 weeks we won nine out of 12.  I think that showed what type of team we are after starting out 0-4.  Disappointing we didn't make it to the postseason, but we couldn't control any of that.  All we could control is what we did today with the Oakland Raiders.  I was proud of the way they came out and fought, and the way they played."

However, per usual, no one was able to articulate the raw emotion of the season more than Philip Rivers, even if he was wrestling with his own feelings.

"It's a little mixed," he admitted.  "You hate to not appreciate a win in this league, because it's hard.  It's hard to win a division game at home (and) really do a ton of things right in all phases.  But, quickly you're a little bit disappointed.  Shoot, a lot disappointed, because you kick yourself that you put yourself in this situation where you needed help.  And you know you let some games get away that never should have.  We could have won every game, but you may lose in Arrowhead, you may lose in Denver the opener, you may lose to a Philly team that's hot.  Not that we couldn't have beaten them.  But you have a Miami team beat, you've got a win. You have a Jacksonville team beat, you've got a win.  It hurts because you win one of those, you need no help today.  You're a five seed with 10 wins."

As uplifting as it was the way the season ended, it hurts even that much more knowing the Bolts could have done some major damage in the postseason.

"That's where it hurts the most, because we're a pretty hot team that's going home. You win nine out of the last 12 after you start 0-4.  Shoot, that's a pretty good stretch, but we'll be watching."

Still, that doesn't take away from what the team achieved over the final 12 games.

As with every season that doesn't end in a postseason berth, Rivers says the hurt doesn't subside until after the Super Bowl.

However, number 17 admits there is a lot to be excited about heading into the offseason.

"I'm not big on momentum, but I think you see a team now.  In the last previous two years, it was a team that can't win a close game, etc.  There was all that still hanging over you.  This coming offseason we'll be a team that, gosh, finished winning nine of 12.  (Pundits will say) they have these guys that can rush the passer, they have a guy that caught 100 passes, guys that got speed on the outside, they're going to have a young and healthy Mike Williams (and) gosh, an offensive line that played unbelievable.  The fewest sacks we've had in how many years, I don't know. A long time.  There's a lot of things they're going to say that are positive.  It's not going to be many, 'They're missing this, this and this still.' It's going to be (that) this team was close from being at least a dangerous factor in the postseason."

The Chargers battle the Oakland Raiders for a New Year's Eve matchup.

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