Well, we'll start with the right answer then we'll get to what the rest of the staff thought:
I'm going to have to go with Ladarius Green's four yard touchdown reception over Chris Crocker in the Bengals playoff game. That's the play that put them back ahead for good for their first playoff win in years. And it was just an amazing thing to watch. Green made Crocker look like he was playing football in the backyard with his much older brother. The image of that play is also what's keeping me optimistic about the team this off season.
The Ryan Mathews touchdown on the first offensive play of the season. It was perfect, it was creative. It set the tone for the offense for the rest of the season, and it got us excited for Ryan Mathews, Philip Rivers, and the new offense under Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt. It took them exactly one play to show us fans the offensive improvement over the previous season. Ryan Mathews was (fairly) thought to be a one-dimensional back, a bruiser between the tackles. Sending him on a wheel route for a touchdown in the end zone completely caught fans and the Houston Texans defense off guard. Less than 30 seconds into the season, it was exciting to be a San Diego Chargers fan again.
I'll admit, that was the first play that came to my mind, too.
Shocker, huh? The last couple years San Diego lacked that edge, that player that was not only fun to watch, but delivered in a big way. When Allen would catch a 6 yard slant, get up in the defenders face and talk junk like he just scored the game winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, is what this teams been missing. Whether it's flying through the air against Denver on his way to score, or the plays that go unnoticed like his crack back block in the playoffs at Cincinnati. Allen made it fun to be a fan again, and I look forward to seeing him develop into the greatest receiver of all time.
There's predictable and then there's Kyle Posey showing love to Keenan Allen predictable.
The Monday night win against Indianapolis.
Offensively, it was a grind-it-out, control-the-clock masterpiece by the Chargers. They held the ball 17 minutes more than Indy and, after falling behind 3-0, methodically dominated the game after the first period. Defensively, they held Andrew Luck to fewer than 200 passing yards and just 74 yards rushing for the Colts.
In my mind, it was the most complete game they played all year and gave great hope for what could follow, particularly coming off that miserable loss in Oakland the week before.
I have to say, the win over the Broncos. It was satisfying for so many reasons, many of which were due to the lead-up to the game. After the rout of the Giants, Mike McCoy was asked if he expected the Chargers to play Denver close. McCoy's response was, "we're going to beat Denver on Thursdaynight, not play close." Broncos fans and the media alike mocked McCoy for that statement, mostly making condescending remarks like, "that's cute, Mike" or "nice to see McCoy still has a sense of humor." Broncos fans and the media alike were not even giving the Chargers a chance in this game, treating the Chargers as merely roadkill on Denver's road to a Super Bowl victory.
Then, the day of the game, Mark Kiszla posted his infamous "Mr. Milquetoast" article in the Denver Post. Denver fans were confident, Chargers fans were hungry. At this point, I was the most excited for a Chargers game to start than I had been in a long time.
The game finally came and it started out predictably. Denver marched down the field and scored an easy touchdown. The teams trade field goals, and we started thinking, "here we go again." But then the Chargers offense hit the gas, and the Denver defense fell apart. There was that moment Keenan Allen made a name for himself on national television, and then there was the final score. The score actually makes it look like the Broncos were in the game more than they were. Denver was dominated by the Chargers, and it was a great feeling made especially sweeter considering the way things played out leading up to the game.
And let's not forget about one of the greatest post-game interviews in recent memory.
I stand by my pick, but Crean lays out a really strong case.
I got my wife to play Fantasy Football this season so she willingly sat through multiple hours of football each Sunday. I helped her a bit with her team and at some point I recommended she pick up Ladarius Green Jr. Some BFTB commenter pointed out how he couldn't help but think of the player from the East-West Game sketch by Key and Peele name D'Squarius Green Jr. I then started calling out, "D'Squarius!" whenever he made a play. The favorite moment was when I got her to do it too.
My most memorable moment of the season came in the week 12 meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs. The game itself was a season-saving win. In total, there was nine lead changes. And the Chargers needed every offensive weapon to keep pace. Danny Woodhead scored once in the air and once on the ground. The game saw Ryan Matthews grind out 55 yds and a TD. Phillip Rivers had perhaps his best game going 27-39 for 392 yds 3 TD and 0 INT. Rivers completed passes to 10 different recievers including Kennan Allen 9 times for 124 yds. We also saw a glimpse of the future when Ladarius Green caught that short slant and outraced everyone for the 60yd score.
But the Chiefs were at home, and trailing 34-31 when Alex Smith led his team on a 6 play 55 yd score to take the lead with 1:22 left in the 4th. But this was the season of the big comeback, and like a bolt from on high, the Chargers struck again. With :31 seconds left Rivers floated a pass to the left side which Seyi Ajrotutu slid under for the 26 yd game winning score. That play brought hope to a mediocre season and led rise to the belief that something special was about to unfold. And I bet every Chargers fan was on their feet!
My favorite moment was beating the Chiefs in the last week of the season. I was on a trip with the UCLA football team to the Sun Bowl, and I was unable to watch the game, but while we were flying to Texas, me and a few other Chargers fans were closely following the Ravens and Dolphins games. When both those teams lost, I felt we had a legitimate chance of playing in the playoffs.
We were rehearsing in a big ballroom, and a bunch of us were checking our phones every few seconds. The game must have been crazy to watch, but it was even crazier to try to keep track of by phone. When the chiefs were driving at the end of the game, I assumed the game was over and turned it off. About 15 minutes later, I checked out of curiosity, and the Chargers had won! I was incredibly excited that we were finally back in the playoffs!
I say the win in week 2 over Philadelphia. It was a back-and-forth shoot out following a disappointing loss in week 1. It was a huge win not only because it was the first one of the season, but also because it was the type of game that the Chargers have always lost over the past few seasons. It was a win that gave me confidence in the new season and the new regime.
Philip Rivers’ post-game interview after the W against the Broncos. I don’t think this moment requires much of an explanation as to why it could be any fan’s favorite.
I can see it now: Phil, radiant and exceedingly jubilant from the win, shouting in his snakeskin boots, "I just like to play football!"
Also, I think it’s worth noting how genuinely eager and excited he was to speak about the contributions his teammates – his "favorite 53 buddies" – make. Like every great leader, he gave credit where it was due.
That memory makes me beam with pride.
The return of Melvin Ingram! I had no clue he was returning and when I saw him playing the Giants I was extremely excited. When he went down in training camp, I was devastated, as I had hoped he would be taking the next step in his sophomore season. But his play after coming back nearly 7 months after tearing his acl sparked the chargers and contributed to the push at the end of the season that helped them make the playoffs. He became a solid contributor and we all witnessed what his presence on the field can do for this team. All this makes me even more excited to watch him play next year, and hopefully he continues exactly where he left off at the end of last season.
I, too, am going with the DEN game. National audience, sizeable underdog, dominating win. And we hit Manning; petty and violent but seeing him get pushed around never gets old.
Most satisfying dominating game was the NYG game. Yes, they had a horrible season but they had no chance. JAX was a tougher opponent.
Call me crazy, but mine was the last regular-season game against the Chiefs.
Yes, we played a really lousy game, and it was even more embarrassing to see all the Cheif's starters sitting on the side-line reading their Kindles and playing cross-word puzzles, but being a Chargers fan at that game was phenomenal.
We bought our tickets after the epic Broncos win, and went into Qualcomm that sunny morning with our bolo ties, fingers crossed, lucky rabbit feet keychains, and anything else we could think of. Tailgaiting felt like you were a kid waiting to hear if you were going to make the team. Once the scores were in, and to our amazement, Jets and Bengals both came out ahead, there was nothing but beaming Bolt fans running in to the Q. What happened next was all a blur, but we left that game victorious and thinking, "so you're saying there's a chance!"
It was the happiest and most hopeful I'd felt as a fan in a really, really long time. By far my favorite moment of the season.
You're not crazy. You're not even alone in choosing that game.
I'm going to go a different route. My favorite moment of the Bolts From The Blue season was when the editor and manager of another SB Nation blog came and trolled our comments section over his beloved Steelers missing the playoffs. I don't think I've laughed as hard when reading reader comments than when I read some of our crowd addressing Steelers Nation.
For you newbies: The Missed Penalty: A History Lesson for Steelers Fans.
You obviously chose this moment as a way to link to your own post.
So many great memories mentioned. I'm going with a memory that spans the entire season and shall last forevermore: No more Norv Turner, no more AJ Smith. Nuff' said!
A man of few words. I like that.
For me, there's no game I enjoyed more than the Chargers beating the snot out of the New York Giants. That game had almost everything I liked from this season... Philip Rivers playing a big game, Keenan Allen going off for a huge play or two, Eli Manning having an awful game, the defense coming up with timely stops and turnovers, Eli Manning having an awful game, the team showing resiliency and bouncing back from an awful home loss to the Bengals instead of quitting on the season, Melvin Ingram making impact plays, Eli Manning having an awful game, not getting stressed out with yet another close finish, and most importantly, setting up the run to the postseason.
Don't forget Eli Manning having an awful game.
My favorite memory from the past year has to be the day Ken Whisenhunt was hired. Can't really think of a time that I was "happier" during 2013, to be honest.
But if we're being game specific then I'll go with the victory over Denver and the performance of everyone involved in the ground attack. RBs touched it 41x. Chargers had possession for almost 40 minutes. Whisenhunt called the Zone Stretch 3x in a row on one drive, which pretty much told the Broncos "We're just better (tonight)". Loved every bit of it. One of those stretch calls featured 76 getting all the way to the third level and 24 tight roping into the end zone. This play got me off of the couch.
I forgot. There is something more predictable than Kyle showing love to Keenan Allen.
I have to duplicate the Week 12 win over the Chiefs, but for selifsh reasons. That was BFTB's only regular season "meet-up" of the year. When Ajirotutu caught the game winning pass, the 10 or so BFTBers that had shown up turned into a shrieking dogpile of elation.
That experience personified everything I love about writing for BFTB (experience the team with other Chargers fans without the need to go to the stadium) and left me with a smile on my face for a solid week.
That was a good time. We need to do more meet-ups in 2014.
I think I'm going to have to go with the Kansas City game at Arrowhead. The game was a see saw the whole time, and a nuisance. Sooo many lead changes, so much frustration, so many times I wanted to harm John Pagano and then, at the end, a perfect throw and sweet sweet victory. Not to mention there are a lot of Chiefs fans where I live and I loved the misery in their eyes when I wore my Chargers jacket. Take that you tomohawking fools
And that concludes the staff portion. Let us know in the comments what your favorite moment of the 2013 season was!