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San Diego Chargers - Franchise history

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The San Diego Chargers were established as a new AFL team in 1959 and started playing in Los Angeles for the AFL a year later. They were coached, originally, by Sid Gillman who handled the team for the duration of the ten years that the AFL was standing. Among the team’s players were Keith Lincoln, Lance Alworth and John Hadl. The San Diego Chargers competed in the first couple of AFL Championship games. They won the title in 1963 in a victory against the Boston Patriots.


When the AFL was taken over by the NFL in 1970, the San Diego Chargers were put into the AFC West division. After Sid Gillman quit in 1971, the San Diego Chargers began their downfall. Because many of the original greats had retired or been traded, new, less experienced, players were drafted. Deacon Jones, Don Woods and Johnny Unitas were acquired, but failed to assist the team in the winning of victories. In 1981, the San Diego Chargers beat the Broncos. In 1982, the chargers played against the Miami Dolphins and went into overtime. This game bacame known as The Epic.


Because of a NFL strike, the 1982 season was a lot shorter. The San Diego Chargers managed to make it to the playoffs where they were successful in beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, but eventually lost to the Miami Dolphins for the second major time in as many years. For the next several years, from 1983 until 1991, the San Diego Chargers performed dismally even though individual players like Billy Ray Smith performed very well. In 1992, Bobby Ross was hired as the new Head Coach. Even though the San Diego Chargers lost several games, they managed to make it to the playoffs where they won the majority of games, winning the AFC West title. Bobby Ross was named Coach of the Year.


The San Diego Chargers played in their first Super Bowl in 1995. This is their only appearance to date. They played against the San Francisco 49ers. The next year wasn’t as successful for the team, but they did make it to the playoffs. The Indianapolis Colts eventually defeated the San Diego Chargers. In 2004, the San Diego Chargers captured the AFC West Division Title. The new Head Coach, Marty Schottenheimer, was named as the NFL Coach of the Year in 2005. The quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, Drew Brees, was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year. In the 2005 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers drafted LB Shawne Merriman who had played previously for the University of Maryland. Their next pick was Luis Castillo who had previously played for Northwesters Univeristy out of Chicago.

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