Te'o starting to exert himself going into playoffs

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Manti Te'o is ready for his first NFL playoff appearance.

He talks about not freezing, and it has nothing to do with the weather. He says he's becoming the player he knows he can be.

The rookie linebacker had a season-high 11 tackles against Kansas City in the victory that ended the Chargers' three-year playoff drought and propelled them into Sunday's wild-card game at Cincinnati, the last team to beat San Diego.

It was a strong finish to a year that started slowly because of a foot injury that sidelined the former Notre Dame star for the final three exhibition games and the first three regular-season games.

While the rookie says he still has a long way to go, he adds: "I'm starting to play my brand of football."

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