Our first matchup for today is: (2) Nate Kaeding misses his first playoff field goal vs. (7) Denver hangs 35 unanswered points on the Chargers to come back from down 24-0.
(2) On January 8, 2005 the Chargers returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1995. Unfortunately, these Chargers were coached by Marty Schottenheimer whose postseason career can best be described as "cursed at best." This game would play out just how every long-suffering Chargers fan would have expected. At halftime the game was tied 7-7 and they fell behind 17-7 in the 3rd quarter, but Drew Brees and co. would rally back to tie the game before the end of regulation. In overtime, both teams would trade punts before the Chargers played for a long field goal attempt with rookie kicker Nate Kaeding (who predictably missed) then allowed Chad Pennington and LaMont Jordan to get their kicker in position for a short kick and a 20-17 victory.
(7) On October 15, 2012 the 3-2 San Diego Chargers played host to the 2-3 Denver Broncos and had a chance to go up two games on second place as well as 3-0 in the division. At halftime, they held a 24-0 lead that to non-Chargers fans looked insurmountable. Chargers fans knew better and so did Peyton Manning. The Chargers would not score again. The Broncos would score 35 unanswered points. The Chargers would never get above .500 again and Denver would finish the season 13-3. This game was the turning point.
Which was worse?
Good God, these were both brutal. Vote in the poll and let us know which of these you personally found more soul-killing in the comments.