@USA Today, Danny Medley

The Chargers We Knew Are Now Gone For Good

Would San Diego's Team Win A Game Like That? Doubtful...

Chris Ello
December 14, 2018 - 7:22 am

Do you really think that, even for a second, Marty Schottenheimer would have thought about going for two points in that situation? Or Norv Turner? Heck, Mike McCoy might have opted for the field goal on fourth down, hoping to somehow get the ball back.

Yep. There's no question about it now. Our San Diego Chargers, the gang that always bungled its way to a loss when it really mattered most, truly are gone for good. 

Watch them ride off now as they head for possible Super Bowl glory as the hated Los Angeles Chargers. And make no mistake. The Super Bowl is probably where they're headed after a heart-stopping 29-28 victory Thursday night in Kansas City -- a place the San Diego version of the Lightning Bolts hardly ever won.

There were a lot of things in that classic game that were completely unrecognizable to San Diego football fans. For one thing, how many times did our local eleven rally from 14 points behind? Three times in one game, mind you.

The game started out like so many San Diego Chargers games we've seen over the years. Interception, give up a touchdown. Punt. And then give up another touchdown. The San Diego Chargers? Game over.

But this group of of Los Angeles unknowns simply is different. They keep fighting. They keep coming back. Over and over again. And now they might have the inside track to reach the Super Bowl.

Philip Rivers, a Hall of Fame quarterback who was mostly unappreciated in America's Finest City, may be almost unheard of in Tinseltown. But he is a Hall of Fame quarterback, nonetheless. Bruised and battered by two picks and five sacks, Rivers pulled his team up by the bootstraps and led them back late in the fourth quarter. When the final decision on whether or not Rivers belongs in Canton, Ohio, is made, a tape of this game will be shown.

Nevermind that he didn't have either of his top two running backs or leading receiver Keenan Allen, all of whom were on the sidelines with injuries. He Charged his troops downfield twice in the final five minutes, throwing pinpoint pass after pinpoint pass. Coming into the game, NFL teams were 0-88 this season when down 2 TD's with five minutes left on the clock. Rivers, himself, was 0-20 in such situations.

But that was when he was a San Diego Charger. The new L.A. edition came through with flying colors and may have placed himself squarely in the NFL's Most Valuable Player conversation.

But he didn't pull off this magic win on his own. Wide receiver Mike Williams, heretofore a bust of a first-round pick a year ago out of Clemson, scored three touchdowns, two on receptions and one on a brilliant, weaving run. But all that did was put the Chargers in position.

They still needed their coach Anthony Lynn to have the guts to go for two points and the win with four seconds left (this is surely something the San Diego edition of the Chargers never would have even thought about).

Rivers gathered his troops in the huddle and you could see him look each player in the eye. This play was for the season, and they weren't about to let it slip away now. On the snap, Williams came wide open in the right corner of the end zone, and the Chargers had done it.

The Los Angeles Chargers. San Diego's team no more as of two seasons ago. 

But now officially gone forever.