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Top Plays of the 2016 Chargers Season

This season definitely didn’t go as expected for the Chargers, but let’s look at some of the best plays of the year.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 season was a nightmare that plenty of Chargers’ fans couldn’t wait to wake up from. Whether it was the large amount of injuries, leads being blown in the fourth quarter almost every week, or just seeing Mike McCoy on the sidelines week in and week out. It’s been a long year, and thankfully, it’s finally over.

Though it may be hard to believe, some things actually went right this season. We got to see the Defensive Rookie of the Year, Joey Bosa, have a historic rookie season, despite it only being 12 games. Casey Hayward was named to his first career Pro Bowl, while also establishing himself as a top cornerback in the NFL. Even though it was cut short, Melvin Gordon bounced back with a strong sophomore season after a disappointing rookie campaign.

With that being said, the Super Bowl is over and draft season is approaching. But, before we officially turn the page to the 2017 season, let’s take a look at some of the best plays from 2016.

Week 5 at Oakland: Joey Bosa’s first career sack

Joey Bosa made his much-anticipated NFL debut in Week 5 against the Oakland Raiders. The third overall pick from Ohio State didn't disappoint, as he tallied two sacks in his first NFL game.

We can only imagine what he could have done in the first four games had the team signed him when they should have. Thanks, Tom Telesco.

Week 1 at Kansas City: Melvin Gordon’s first career touchdown

There’s usually nothing special about a one-yard touchdown run. But, considering what Melvin Gordon went through in his rookie season, it was definitely nice to see him get in the end zone for the first time.

Also, if you look closely, you’ll see a very rare sighting of Orlando Franklin throwing a nice block. Rare.

Week 2 vs Jacksonville: Travis Benjamin’s 42 yard TD catch

When the Chargers signed wide receiver Travis Benjamin in free agency prior to the 2016 season, many thought he’d be the deep-threat the team hasn’t had in quite some time.

While he didn’t necessarily prove he could be that this year, plays like this let you know that the potential of eventually becoming that vertical-playmaker is certainly there.

Week 8 at Denver: Casey Hayward’s pick six

Casey Hayward had his best season as a pro in 2016. He led the league in interceptions with seven, but, this one is probably his most memorable one since he turned it into a touchdown.

The pairing of Hayward and Jason Verrett could prove to be one of the league’s best if Verrett can stay healthy in 2017.

Week 6 vs Denver: Jatavis Brown’s forced fumble

Rookie inside linebacker Jatavis Brown was everywhere in this game. He had 14 total tackles, along with a sack and this forced fumble.

It could not have come at a better time, as the Broncos drove down the field and came really close to possibly dealing the Chargers yet another horrible loss.

Week 3 at Indianapolis: Caraun Reid returns fumble for a TD

Offensive and defensive linemen are expected to do the dirty work, so it’s always nice to see one score.

This time it was Jatavis Brown doing the dirty work by forcing the fumble, and Caraun Reid getting his shine as he runs it all the way back for the touchdown. Reid looked pretty fast here, too.

Week 2 vs Jacksonville: Tyrell Williams’ 44 yard TD

After losing Keenan Allen in the season-opener, the Chargers desperately needed someone to step in and fill the void.

Williams is no Keenan Allen, but, he’d go on to have a highly-productive season by leading the team in receiving yards, and tying for 2nd on the team in receiving touchdowns.

Week 17 vs Kansas City: Antonio Gates’ historic TD

Antonio Gates without a doubt is one of the best tight ends to ever play. He’s been one of the most productive players in the league for over a decade.

With this touchdown catch, he’s now only one away from breaking the great Tony Gonzalez’s record of most touchdowns of all-time by a tight end.

Week 7 at Atlanta: Denzel Perryman picks off Matt Ryan

This play was one of the biggest of season. The Chargers fought back after falling behind early, but a first down on this drive would have likely put the game out of reach.

This was the best win of the Chargers’ season, and one of the best in recent memory. After seeing so many games slip away due to blown fourth quarter leads, this was a refreshing moment for fans to see the team beat one of the best teams in the NFL in this fashion.

Week 17 vs Kansas City: Jahleel Addae’s pick six

Jahleel Addae is one of the most criticized players on this roster, and most of the time it’s justified. Whether it’s him being out of position or getting one of his infamous unnecessary roughness penalties, Addae just can’t catch a break sometimes.

Fortunately, he was in position on this one, as he picked off one of Alex Smith’s signature three-yard passes and took it 90 yards to the house.

—Honorable Mention—

Week 9 vs Tennessee: Brandon Flowers’ game-sealing pick six

Week 8 at Denver: Travis Benjamin’s one-handed TD catch

Week 12 at Houston: Dontrelle Inman breaks down safety, gets loose for 52-yard TD