This is a great time of year to be thankful for what we have, where we have been, and what the future holds. Although the Chargers have lost their way a bit in recent years, the month of December used to hold such incredible promise! This advent calendar is an attempt to hearken back to these days of December joy. Each day will bring a new advent from the Bolts’ history that makes it wonderful to be a Chargers fan.
In just a few short hours we will know whether the 2017 season was one of overcoming incredible odds to persevere, or whether it was one of typically Chargers bait-and-switch. They are gearing up to take on the Kansas City Chiefs as one in a long line of high-stakes AFC West matchups. All of these teams have been rivals since the inception of the AFC in 1960. However, we’ve already taken a close look at the Chiefs (and their comical first name of The Dallas Texans). What happened to the Raiders and the Broncos?
The Broncos joined the AFC with the Chargers in 1960. They have had a storied career in the AFC and the NFL, winning Superbowls and hitching their wagon to Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
Some notable dates in this feud are:
- September 14, 2003: The Broncos routed the Chargers 37–13 at Qualcomm Stadium. However, the game is remembered for a uniform mix-up, in which the Broncos came to the stadium in their road white jerseys when the host Chargers were planning to wear white, and were supposed to be the team that declared their uniform color. The Broncos were fined $25,000 as a result, and when the two teams met at Mile High later that season in Week 11, the NFL allowed the Chargers to choose their uniform color in advance, and they chose navy blue, forcing the Broncos to wear their white jerseys at home for the first time since 1983.
- December 28, 2008: The Broncos and Chargers met in the 2008 regular-season finale in San Diego, with the winner clinching the AFC West title. Three weeks earlier, the Broncos were 8–5 and the Chargers were 5–8, with the Broncos losing their next two games and the Chargers winning their next two to pull to within one game of the Broncos for the division lead. Three and a half months after a controversial Broncos' win in Denver, the Chargers exacted revenge with an emphatic 52–21 win that not only completed a monumental Broncos' season-ending collapse, but also denied the Broncos a playoff berth. The two teams finished the 2008 season tied for first-place in the AFC West, each with an 8–8 record. However, the Chargers won the division based on a better record against AFC West divisional opponents (5–1 to the Broncos' 3–3). This was also Mike Shanahan's last game as the Broncos' head coach, as he was fired two days later after 14 seasons.
The Denver Broncos lead this series at 65-51-1. They have met just one time in the post-season (2014, a Chargers loss). They are a perennial post-season threat and one of the most successful franchises in professional sports. The Chargers have a worthy opponent in the Broncos.
Points Scored: Los Angeles Chargers 2512, Denver Broncos 2495. Advantage: Chargers!
The Raiders joined the AFC with the Chargers in 1960. They have had a storied career in the AFC and the NFL, winning Superbowls and hitching their wagon to ground-and-pound power, penalties, and frenzied fans.
Some notable dates in this feud are...
- Sept. 10, 1978: Raiders 21, Chargers 20—When a game result ends up as the motivation for re-writing the NFL rulebook, you know it was a memorable game. The Holy Roller hanged the league forever, as, after the 1978 season, no longer would an offensive team be allowed to advance a fumble of its own making.
- Nov. 1, 2009: Chargers 24, Raiders 16 - The Raiders played the Chargers at home on a Monday Night game. The Chargers had already barely edged over the Raiders for the first game of the season, and Oakland was ready to bounce back. The Raider defense played phenomenally until Darren Sproles broke out of the backfield and ran in for the winning TD. This marked the 13th game in a row that the Chargers had crushed the Raiders.
Oakland Raiders lead series 63-51-2. They have met just one time in the post-season (1981, a Chargers loss in the playoffs). They are a team that most fans across the league thought was on the way up after years of mediocrity. They aren’t ready to fall back into the chasm yet, so keep your eyes on this team. The Chargers have a worthy opponent in the Raiders.
Points Scored: Oakland Raiders 2571, Los Angeles Chargers 2506. Advantage: Raiders.
-Jason “Score Bored” Michaels