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Philip Rivers on facing Tom Brady in the playoffs: ‘Heck, yeah, it is special’

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is relishing his team’s playoff matchup with the Patriots.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is relishing his team’s playoff matchup with the Patriots.(Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

Philip Rivers has come up empty against Tom Brady every time.

He gets another shot next weekend.

Rivers directed the Los Angeles Chargers to a 23-17 playoff victory at Baltimore on Sunday, setting up another high-stakes matchup with Brady and the New England Patriots. For all of Rivers’ success during his 15 years in the pros, he is winless in seven career starts against Brady.

‘‘To get an opportunity again to go against them, 11 years after we had the opportunity in the 2007 season, yeah, it’s awesome,’’ Rivers said. ‘‘Looking forward to it.’’

The Chargers (13-4) visit the Patriots (11-5) in the first divisional playoff game next Sunday, followed by the Eagles playing at the Saints. Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts (11-6) take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) on Saturday, and then Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott lead the Dallas Cowboys (11-6) into Los Angeles to take on Todd Gurley and the Rams (13-3).

Rivers beat New England in 2008, but that was with Matt Cassel starting at quarterback for the Patriots while Brady was injured. Rivers played his first game against New England in 2007, and Brady passed for 279 yards and three TDs in a 38-14 win.

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It’s the third meeting between Rivers and Brady in the playoffs. The 37-year-old Rivers threw an interception in a 24-21 loss against the visiting Patriots after the 2006 season, and tossed two more picks in a 21-12 loss at New England on Jan. 20, 2008 in which Rivers played with a torn knee ligament.

‘‘I’ve got to focus on defense,’’ Rivers said. ‘‘I’m not playing Tom by any means. But is it special to go to New England against a Hall of Fame coach and arguably the best quarterback ever to play and get another shot at ‘em? Heck, yeah. Heck, yeah, it is special.’’

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