25 Most Disappointing 1 Seeds In NFL Playoff History: 3. 1979 San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers of the 1979 season won the AFC’s one seed after a phenomenal season, etching out the Pittsburgh Steelers thanks to a head-to-head win in the regular season. Maybe this seems too high for a team that went 12-4, but the upset was of epic proportions. This team was one of the most well-rounded teams of the era. Their defense was second in yards allowed and they had 28 interceptions. The offense was one of the first to really take advantage of the air-raid offense.
Despite having such a great team, the Chargers didn’t have a lot of playoff experience. In fact, nobody on the team had playoff experience with the Chargers. They missed the playoffs every season from 1966 to 1978. Then, all of a sudden, they were the best team in the AFC. Sometimes experience matters.
In the playoffs, the Chargers were facing a laughably undermanned Edmonton Oilers team. They were without Earl Campbell, a Hall of Fame-level running back, and their starting quarterback Dan Pastroni. This should have been a steamrolling. They had all their pieces in place.
Dan Fouts had the worst game of his career, and he gave the Chargers no shot to win. He threw five interceptions. Despite his struggles, he still helped the Chargers take the lead in the second half, but the Oilers came right back with a game-sealing field goal. They had none of their stars on offense, but the Oilers took out the top seed in the playoffs.