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Whisenhunt expected second-guessing after OT loss

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SAN DIEGO (AP)

Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt anticipated the second-guessing that would come after San Diego failed to score a touchdown in three attempts from the Washington 1-yard line in a loss to the Redskins last week.

It's part of the game.

''When they don't work, you are going to be second-guessed on them,'' Whisenhunt said Thursday when discussing his decisions. ''That is part of this business. If you could tell me I could have back every play that didn't work and I could run it again, sure I would like to do that. Are you kidding me?

''But you can't do that. You have a plan, you stick to the plan and more times than not for us this year, fortunately, it has worked.''

The Chargers ran their smallest back, Danny Woodhead, into the line without a lead blocker on first down. Then Philip Rivers threw two incompletions before Nick Novak kicked the game-tying field goal with three seconds remaining. The Chargers, who face the Broncos this weekend, went on to lose 30-24 in overtime.

The second-guessing began quickly.

''You know what that speaks more to, is the popularity of the game,'' Whisenhunt said of the criticism. ''It's educated fans that understand situations, that's part of it. Hopefully, when they work, they'll be as excited the other way, you know?''

Although Whisenhunt knows that's seldom the case.

''No, it usually doesn't work that way,'' he said. ''But that's OK.''

The questions included why Ryan Mathews was barely involved in the final drive. Mathews, who has had fumbling issues, was on the field for just one play during the last series.

Whisenhunt stressed he has no qualms about using Mathews, the team's leading rusher, near the goal line.

''I feel great about Ryan,'' Whisenhunt said. ''There has never been any indication that we haven't felt great about Ryan. The last time I checked he's the only back in the league this year to have two consecutive 100-yard games. I don't understand why you wouldn't feel good about him. We have complete confidence in him and, in my mind, he is a good football player.

''Once again, the situation dictated what you are doing and you have a plan and you stick to those things. You understand they are not always going to work, unfortunately. Like I said, you understand it is going to be second-guessed and that's part of it.''

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Tagged: Ryan Mathews, Chargers

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