In what could likely be the final NFL game since the 1960s in San Diego, the Chargers gave the fans all they wanted. A win and a curtain call from team leaders to a roaring base of loyal San Diegans that stayed after the clock hit triple zero.
Through four quarters, the home team played with a purpose. The defense shut down a Miami offense that was supposed to make noise in the pre-season. The offense lit up the scoreboard while Danny Woodhead played out of his mind with four touchdowns. And while the Chargers faithful kept chanting for one more Rivers to Gates score, a 30-14 win worked in the end.
Dec 20, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) signs autographs for fans after the Chargers beat the Miami Dolphins 30-14 at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The team’s franchise quarterback lingered after the game signing autographs, signs, and even his shoes. Phillip Rivers has been a class act and after listening to his post game press conference, it even sounded like he would be torn apart leaving the city he’s been the quarterback of his entire professional career.
“I told the guys before the game, they’ve been playing football in this town before any of us were born, and there’s people who’re going to be at that game today that were coming to games before we were born,” said Rivers. “But we get to close it out, if it is the end. Hopefully the fans that have seen it over the years and the players that played in there can be proud today that we at least ended it the right way.”
I live in this town, and even went to breakfast across the street from Qualcomm Stadium before today’s game against the Dolphins. There was an obvious anxiety about the fanbase as they ordered their pancakes and trash talked with the sprinkled Miami fans. The way the Dolphins have been playing this season, you felt like it was San Diego’s game to win even before the coin toss… but people seemed more focused on what would happen after the game than during.
It may still be a few weeks until we’re able to confirm the fate of the Bolts in sunny San Diego, but on this day that could signal the shift up I-5, the underachieving Chargers were indeed Super.