Chargers All-Time Lists

Los Angeles Chargers: Reliving team’s 5 best Wild Card performances

LA Chargers (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LA Chargers (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO – JANUARY 03: Darren Sproles #43 of the San Diego Chargers scores the winning touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during their NFL Wild Card Game on January 3, 2009, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO – JANUARY 03: Darren Sproles #43 of the San Diego Chargers scores the winning touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during their NFL Wild Card Game on January 3, 2009, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

No. 1: Darren Sproles, January 3, 2009

This was the greatest win for the team ever in the Wild Card round so it’s only natural that the game featured the best ever performance by a Chargers player in a Wild Card game.

This was the last home playoff win ever for the team in San Diego.

The MVP of that victory wasn’t Rivers or Tomlinson or Antonio Gates. It was the smallest player on the roster, Sproles.

Sproles was nearly unstoppable in this game against the AFC powerhouse Indianapolis Colts. He posted the third-highest total ever for all-purpose yardage in a playoff game in NFL history, rushing for 105 yards on 22 carries, catching five passes for 45 yards and posting 106 more yards as a kick returner and 72 yards on punt returns.

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He did a little bit of everything in the game and the Chargers needed every bit of it as the game went into overtime.

In the extra frame, with the score tied 17-17, the Chargers once again turned to Sproles.

In a critical sequence of plays, Colts linebacker Clint Sessions was flagged for a facemask penalty against Sproles, giving the Chargers a big first down. On the next play, Sproles was stuffed for a two-yard loss. But not to be deterred, the Chargers went back to Sproles on the very next play. He found a hole off the left side and beat everyone down the field, slipping one tackle around the 5-yard line before crossing into the end zone for the game-winning score.

This completed a big upset win over Peyton Manning and the Colts and sent the Chargers to the divisional round.

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