Can You Dig It? The Most Exciting San Diego Chargers Team of the Last 20 Years

Taylor StoreyContributor IMay 11, 2009

SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 11:  Antonio Cromartie #31 of the San Diego Chargers reaches to intercept a pass from Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts during the 1st half of their NFL game on November 11, 2007 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Cromartie had three of four interceptions thrown by Manning in the first half.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

San Diego over the past 20 years (The Post-Dan Fouts era. He retired in 1988.) have amassed 158 wins and 178 losses during the regular season. That includes nine sub .500 years, five .500 years, and sadly only six years with winning records. 

The Chargers went 14-2 in 2006 but then in their first playoff game were upset 24-21 at home by the Patriots. Chargers' fans suffered due to the teams' lack of playoff experience. In the aftermath Marty Schottenheimer was fired and current head coach Norv Turner was added. 

In 1994 the Chargers had their best run in franchise history by making it to the Super Bowl (only to get destroyed by Steve Young and Jerry Rice 49-28). Though many of my school journal entries as an eight-year-old were consumed by this, it still was not my favorite season. 

The best season to be a Chargers fan happened in 2007. 

The Chargers went 11-5 that year. Yes, it was also the year the Patriots went 18-0 then lost in one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time, but I'm a Chargers fan, I take what I can get.

The most exciting thing to me in professional football is turnovers. The Chargers were +24 in turnovers that year. Antonio Cromartie alone had a franchise record 10 interceptions, though he only started in the final 8 games. He also had the longest play in NFL history against the Vikings.

The Chargers were 4-4 until they faced the Colts in week nine. In that game alone Cromartie had three of San Diego's six interceptions on Peyton Manning, a franchise record for the Colts. The Chargers won seven out of their next eight games to finish the regular season.

LaDainian Tomlinson though having a disappointing rushing year, still beat out Adrian Peterson for the NFL's rushing title. 

The defense and the offense were both ranked No. 5 in points allowed and points scored, respectively.

Eight players were elected to the Pro Bowl.

They had their first playoff win since they made the Super Bowl in the 94-95 season by edging out the Titans.

Then they played the Colts. LaDainian Tomlinson got injured in the first quarter and did not return. Philip Rivers was injured early in the third quarter and did not return.

Billy Volek replaced Rivers and the Chargers held on through seven total lead changes to beat the favored Indianapolis Colts 28-24 in their house. The Chargers played without their stars and showed the stamina and drive they had as a team.

The 2007 season ended for the Chargers when they lost another close game 21-12 in New England.

Tomlinson sat on the bench with his helmet on in favor of letting Michael Turner play in what would be his last game before rushing for 1,699 yards for the Falcons in 2008. Philip Rivers played through a torn MCL. The defense forced a fumble and intercepted Tom Brady three times. 

Here's to hoping the Chargers have many more years like they did in 2007.