It felt like the Bolts would snap out of their early season funk up until a home meeting in Week 5 with Pittsburgh went sour. Thirty-five-year-old backup quarterback Michael Vick drove the Steelers for two late touchdowns -- including a walk-off one by running back Le’Veon Bell -- that sunk San Diego in a season-long depression.
Lenny IgnelziLenny Ignelzi
San Diego and their star defender waged more drama-filled spats than a daytime soap opera. It started in the summer; Eric Weddle wanted a new contract, the Chargers wouldn’t budge. The two-time All-Pro was tied to midseason trade rumors. And finally, an end-of-season tiff landed Weddle on injured reserve (and probably on the first bus out of town as a 2016 free agent).
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
Two Ravens defenders? No problem. The sideline? No sweat. Keenan Allen’s leaping touchdown in Week 8 was a true thing of beauty. Who knows how the season goes if he stayed healthy?
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsTommy Gilligan
The final score of 37-29 is so much closer than this game ever was. The Raiders owned San Diego from the onset, racing out to a 30-3 halftime lead. Worse yet: The gang of Raiders fans in attendance at Qualcomm Stadium made Chargers brass realize a move might be necessary.
He completed two out of every three passes to a skeleton crew of receivers. He stood tall behind a line with so many rotating pieces. And he had no running game to speak of to help him. Take a bow, Philip Rivers. This season was one of your best by far.
Why should Chargers fans feel any optimism about 2016? It’s all about “The U.” Denzel Perryman looks next in a long lineage of great Miami Hurricanes linebackers. He teamed up with Manti Te'o to help the Bolts hold their final five opponents each to 20 points or less.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY SportsJake Roth
Not even a broken leg last season could derail San Diego’s “Little Engine That Could.” Danny Woodhead kept chugging along; he was second on the team with 336 rushing yards and first on the team with 755 receiving yards. There’s a reason why he’s a fan favorite.
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Melvin Gordon scored 32 touchdowns in his final collegiate season. So Chargers fans were rightly disappointed when, after joining their team, he couldn’t score one in his first pro season. A repeat performance in 2016 will force his team back on the running-back market.