The goal during the past five days for the Chargers was to make things as normal as possible.

Forget the shortened week, forget the cold weather, forget the lights on Saturday night. It's just a football game — one of 16.

"If you're preparing differently now, you've been cheating your teammates the last [14] weeks," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said.

Those are words that'll be useless once Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City comes into sight on the team's bus ride to its biggest game in three seasons.

Chargers safety Jahleel Addae — who was with the Chargers in 2014 when a loss to Kansas City in the season finale cost them a playoff spot — said the game between the AFC West's co-leaders shouldn't be put on a pedestal.

"We're just going to keep doing what we're doing — play ball, stick to our keys, don't make it bigger than what it is," he said. "We know it's a big game, but we can't worry about that. We've got to play our ball."

Same as always, right?

Nope.

"You can't be oblivious to it. Nah. It's gonna be live," Addae said. "It's going to be a playoff atmosphere, playoff intentions in a crazy atmosphere, one of the best stadiums in the league. It's two opponents who know one another. It's going to be what it is. It'll have that feel to it. This is what you live for."

Saturday's prime-time game between the Chargers and the Chiefs is certainly, at minimum, what NFL players grind for.

"That's the purpose of all the hard work and the sacrifices you make … you want to be in this position in December," veteran tight end Antonio Gates said.

The two teams are 7-6, and with just two games left after this week, this is pretty close to an elimination game. If the Chargers were to lose, they'd have to win their final two games, the Chiefs would have to lose theirs and L.A. would need help from Oakland to win the AFC West.