Home field advantage

A.J. Smith was livid with the San Diego Chargers inability to defend their home turf last season. The message was heard.

Lets see, the Chargers have a two-game cushion in the AFC West and are tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the best record in the AFC at 10-2. That means if they can sweep their final four games, the first of which is Sunday against the visiting Denver Broncos, they could get a first-round bye.

And, if the Colts drop another game -- they hold the No. 1 seed by virtue of one fewer conference loss -- the Chargers could have home field advantage until the Super Bowl.

"If you sit down and try to match up (playoff possibilities), you're wasting your time," Schottenheimer said. "I understand why the fans do it. Were I fan, I would be in the same mode."

But Schottenheimer isn't. He has to keep the Chargers zeroed in on the task at hand, and it is a pretty considerable one.

The Chargers haven't swept the Broncos since 1982 and Denver is fighting for their playoffs lives at 7-5.

"With the position we're in, we can't worry about anything down the road," Schottenheimer said. "Our focus is on the Denver Broncos. It's obviously an important game for us. It's a divisional opponent and an AFC opponent. That's relative to the playoffs, but it's for later."

Really, how the Chargers do the next two weeks goes a long way in determining if they claim their second AFC West title in three years. In fact, if they beat the Broncos Sunday and the Kansas City Chiefs either lose or tie, the Chargers are the champs.

"You have to take care of your business, and for us, that's the Broncos," LaDainian Tomlinson said. "When its game time and you're preparing for a team, you can never overlook them. You have to be able to make sure you are focused on that particular team. We still have two division games left back-to-back, Denver and Kansas City, and that's going to determine really what happens for us, if we win the division or not."

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