Kaeding kick sends Chargers into playoffs

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With the scores level at 24-24, Kaeding hit the winning kick with three seconds left after Philip Rivers, who passed for three touchdowns and 308 yards, moved San Diego from their own 20-yard line to the Cincinnati 34 in the final minute.

"It's a great job by our offensive football team using every second of the clock and getting Nate a chance," Chargers coach Norv Turner told reporters after their ninth consecutive win.

The Bengals, playing their first game since the death of wide receiver Chris Henry on Thursday, had tied the score with 57 seconds to go on a Shayne Graham field goal before Kaeding responded.

"It was sort of like an empty feeling and I think a lot of people don't understand," said the Bengals' Chad Ochocinco, who kneeled and said a prayer after scoring a 49-yard touchdown on a pass from Carson Palmer in the second quarter.

Henry, 26, died in Charlotte, North Carolina from injuries suffered in a fall from a pickup truck after a "domestic situation" with his fiancee, police said.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Patrick Johnston and Ian Ransom)