The 49ers versus the Chargers was supposed to be a late-season, Thursday night matchup between two division leaders.
That isn't the case, but both sides still have a lot to play for (playoffs), and the fans have plenty to root for.
Here are the top 10 things to watch for in the game.
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This is a must-win game for both teams' playoff hopes.
On the East Coast this might mean ball control and tough D, but in the wild West it means big yardage gains and scoring points any way possible.
The Niners have used receiving options Ted Ginn, Josh Morgan and Delanie Walker multiple times in the running game this year. Alex Smith and Troy Smith's athleticism also gives SF options to use their QBs as receivers.
San Diego punter Mike Scifres has a 28-yard pass on the year, and SD has tried a pass with Patrick Crayton. Their receivers pick up the occasional rush.
Anyone living in a landlocked state or cold-weather climate will surely appreciate the San Diego sidelines this time of the year.
Although the Chargers have one of the NFL's best defenses, they have allowed 642 yards and six touchdowns to tight ends this season, making Vernon Davis one of the best tight end plays in fantasy football.
Since Frank Gore's injury, the question has been whether to go with Brian Westbrook or Anthony Dixon as a flex start in deeper leagues.
Westbrook gets the name recognition and if the game gets in a shootout, he will be used more than Dixon in the passing game. If you think SF will be able to keep it low-scoring, expect solid production out of Dixon, who is better at moving the pile.
Neither is a recommended play though.
Michael Crabtree will have a tough time getting it going against SD's defensive backs, and if you need Alex Smith, you're probably in the consolation bracket.
Mike Singletary wasn't fired after his last two losses (a 21-0 shutout by Tampa and a 34-16 slap by Green Bay), and it looks like if he avoids a dismantling, he will make it past SD.
The Chargers put up points in a hurry, though, and they have won five of their games by 21 points or more, putting the pressure on SF to maintain focus at all times.
Read this link for more on the Mike Singletary coaching situation.
According to The Weather Channel, kickoff should be dry and in the high 50s.
There is rain expected for later in the night, and if that precipitation comes early, it could be a real savior for the 49ers, a team that wouldn't mind a little extra help against the Chargers' passing attack.
If the rain holds off as it's projected, the weather should be a non-factor in the game.
Philip Rivers projects to be a top five QB this week, meaning his cast of characters should have a few gems in it.
Antonio Gates is doubtful and SF has been the best team against TEs this season, making Randy McMichael a tough recommendation.
After two TDs last week, Malcom Floyd looks like a top 20 option at receiver. One of the week's biggest sleeper picks is Vincent Jackson, and although he had 44 total yards last game, he is poised to kill if the Niners treat him as a typical No. 2 receiver.
In the backfield, Mike Tolbert is a much more trustworthy start than Ryan Mathews, and he should get multiple touches inside the red zone. Darren Sproles has great potential, but with limited touches, you will be betting on a big-play score.
The way Philip Rivers was slinging the ball through his first eight games, some expected he would be closer to 5,000 yards than 4,000 at this point of the year.
His lower passing totals have been welcomed, though, because it means SD has been in a winning position more of the time.
Sitting at 3,868, Rivers could hit 4,000 by the half.
It would be his third 4,000-yard season in a row, and this year he is completing a career-high 66.1 percent of his passes.
He is on pace for 4,761 yards, but the Chargers hope he doesn't have to hit that total.
The worst thing for a special teams coach is to see the ball behind the punter, as was the case in this picture for San Diego against Oakland.
The Chargers have had five kicks blocked this year in addition to a punt and two kicks returned for touchdowns. They have yet to mark a tally in any of those categories.
The Niners have blocked a kick, had one blocked against them and had one kickoff returned for a TD against them.
Ted Ginn and Darren Sproles are two of the game's most electrifying return men, so don't be surprised to see either, or both, get his first return TD of the season.
Both ranked in the top 25 for tackles this season, Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes are the NFL's elite interior 3-4 linebacking duo.
Unfortunately for SF, both are listed as questionable with hand injuries.
You can expect both to play—their toughness has never been questioned—but a bad hand can turn a sack into an escape or an interception into just a tipped pass.
Combined they should verge on 20 total tackles. If you're watching the game, you won't be able to miss them.
There is nothing better than late-season football when both teams need to win the game to keep their playoff hopes alive.
That is the exact scenario we have tonight.
If SF wins out, all the 49ers need is for Seattle to lose one of its next three to own a three-way tiebreaker in the NFC West at 8-8.
If SD wins out, the Chargers need KC to lose to either St. Louis or Oakland to own the tiebreaker.
Either run starts with this game.