Surging Chargers rout Titans to secure playoff bye

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - The streaking San Diego Chargers wrapped up a first round playoff bye in emphatic fashion with a 42-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Friday.

Philip Rivers passed for two touchdowns and 264 yards while LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles each rushed for scores as the Chargers (12-3) cruised to a 10th consecutive win in becoming AFC second seeds.

Sproles also caught one of Rivers' TD passes to have a hand in three touchdowns for the AFC West Champions.

Rivers was an outstanding 21-of-27 in passing to help the Chargers tie the 1970-74 Miami Dolphins for the most successive wins in a month. San Diego is now 18-0 in December games dating back to 2005. Miami won 18 consecutively in November outings.

"We've put ourselves in as good a position as we can going into the postseason," Rivers told reporters. "It's been quite a run."

Tennessee's Chris Johnson, the NFL rushing leader, posted his 10th successive 100-yard rushing game but it was not enough to eliminate the Titans (7-8) from playoff contention.

Only Detroit Lions' Barry Sanders (14 games in 1997) and the Oakland Raiders' Marcus Allen (11 games in 1985-86) have longer NFL streaks than Johnson.

The Titans were trying to become the first NFL team to start the season 0-6 and make the playoffs but were powerless to prevent the San Diego from scoring on six of their first eight drives in building a 42-10 lead.

Quarterback Vince Young pulled Tennessee to within 21-10 on a three-yard run as halftime approached.

The next three touchdowns belonged to San Diego, however, a one-yard run by Tomlinson and Sproles' scores of nine and one yard.

"We're playing our best football," Tomlinson said after the Chargers improved to 7-1 in road games this season.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien)