Well, in yet another surprise to nobody we have yet another 1 facing yet another 2. On one side we have one of the worst endings to a regular season game ever and on the other we have ownership trading away an all-time great mid-season for having the audacity to ask that he be paid according to his worth. That sounds like a one-sided battle, but that regular season game featured the Raiders pulling some of the most questionable crap that had ever been pulled to the point that it resulted in a rules change.
You can find the complete bracket by clicking here.
(1) The Holy Roller (or Immaculate Deception as Wikipedia claims Charger fans refer to it) isn't just an infamous part of the San Diego Chargers' history. It changed the rules of the game. That's the Raiders for you: cheating before it even became cheating. On September 10, 1978 the Chargers led by six with 10 seconds left on the clock. Ken Stabler took the snap from the San Diego 14 yard line and was forced out of the pocket by Woodrow Lowe. Stabler illegally fumbled the ball forward, then Pete Banaszak recovered and did the same before Dave Casper recovered in the end zone. The referees botched both calls and gave the Raiders the win.
(2) Fred Dean was traded mid-season in 1981 due to a contract dispute. In 1981, Dean had earned $67,500 and as a future Hall of Famer in the prime of his career was due for a raise. The San Diego Chargers ownership (who were notoriously unwilling to renegotiate and had previously traded away the great John Jefferson) wasn't interested and sent Dean to the 49ers for some draft picks. The Chargers defense was instantly much worse and the 49ers' instantly much better. Fred Dean would win the UPI NFC Defensive Player of the Year award and his new team would win the Lombardi Trophy. The Chargers, meanwhile, would still manage to make it to the AFC Championship Game, but lose. Dean's absence was notable. He would not be meaningfully replaced until the Chargers drafted Leslie O'Neal five years later.
Which was worse?
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