25 Most Disappointing 1 Seeds In NFL Playoff History: 12. 2006 San Diego Chargers
It’s hard to call a team disappointing when they lose to the New England Patriots of this era, but this was that weird time after the Pats first dynasty when they tried to make pieces like Reche Caldwell and Laurence Maroney work. They didn’t have the dominant season they were used to, and they went into the playoffs as the four seed.
This was a phenomenal AFC, but the San Diego Chargers were the lead dog in the conference. They won the last 10 games on their schedule, and they ended the season with 14 wins. The issue was the Chargers didn’t have a lot of great teams on the schedule. They didn’t two other divisions winners, and they went 1-1 against the Seahawks and Ravens.
That didn’t matter. The team was going into the playoffs with stars everywhere. Philip Rivers was becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the league. LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the greatest running backs ever at the peak of his powers. Shawne Merriman was becoming “Lights Out” right in front of our eyes.
None of that mattered to the Patriots. Tomlinson gave the Chargers an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Chargers gave Tom Brady eight minutes to figure it out. He threw a touchdown to Caldwell with four minutes left. Then, he led the Patriots to a drive with one minute left. Stephen Gostowski kicked a field goal to win the game. The Chargers’ magical run was over, and the team ended up firing Marty Schottenheimer despite winning 14 games that season.