For me this is the toughest choice yet. 1979 was probably the Chargers' best shot at winning a Super Bowl and they managed to lose to a not-that-great Houston Oilers team that was starting backups at QB, RB and WR. The 2006 team may have been the franchise's best shot since 1979 and they managed to lose thanks to some of the biggest bonehead plays by seasoned veterans you'll ever see. I suspect 2006 will carry the day since most of us were not born or were too young to remember the 1979 game, but this is a very closely matched contest. The thing that could sway some toward the 1979 loss is that not winning it all that year is a big part of what has kept Don Coryell out of the Hall of Fame.
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(1) On December 29, 1979 the San Diego Chargers hosted the Houston Oilers in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The Oilers were missing their starting quarterback, running back and wide receiver. The Dan Fouts-led Chargers would outgain Houston by over 100 yards in the young Fouts' first career playoff game, but still manage to lose 17-14. How? Well, that young Fouts would throw five interceptions, four of them were to rookie safety Vernon Perry. This wasn't entirely on Fouts, though, as it was later revealed that the Oilers were able to pick up the Chargers' signs when they were calling in the plays and thus knew what was coming before the snap. The Steelers would end up winning the Super Bowl against the Rams. This is notable because the Chargers blew out both of those teams during the regular season.
(1) On January 14, 2007 the 14-2 San Diego Chargers hosted the 12-4 New England Patriots for the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The Chargers were 8-0 at home, had nine players sent to the Pro Bowl, five more to the All Pro team and were widely considered to be the best team in The League. Marty Schottenheimer would uncharacteristically attempt and fail on 4th & 11 early in the game. The sure-handed Eric Parker would muff a punt. Former Charger Reche Caldwell would contribute a huge catch to the Patriots. Almost everything would go wrong, but in the second half the Chargers had the lead. LaDainian Tomlinson would extend that lead to 21-13 with a TD in the 4th quarter. They would intercept Tom Brady for a third time that day on the following drive. It should have been over, but Marlon McCree would try to return the pick rather than getting down. He fumbled and the Patriots went on to win and do Shawne Merriman's stupid sack dance in the middle of the field in celebration.
Which was worse?
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