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For the first time in over two decades, the Patriots will have a new starting quarterback to start an NFL season. On Tuesday morning, Tom Brady announced that his time in New England was over and that he was leaving the Patriots. The quarterback wrote a statement, which he posted on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Tom Brady posts a message on Twitter announcing that he is leaving the Patriots.

“LOVE YOU PATS NATION”

The four word message was posted on top of a longer message on Twitter, Tuesday at 8:45 a.m.

Tom Brady

@TomBrady
LOVE YOU PATS NATION

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239K
8:45 PM – Mar 17, 2020
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This news ends the run of the greatest quarterback in all-time in what was perhaps one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports. Overall, Brady led the Patriots to nine Super Bowls, winning six – Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI and LIII.

Robert Kraft sent a statement to ESPN, reading, “Tommy initiated contact last night and came over. We had a positive, respectful discussion. It’s not the way I want it to end, but I want him to do what is in his best personal interest. After 20 years with us, he has earned that right. I love him like a son.”

According to NBC Sports Boston, “a tangible effort by the Patriots to keep Tom Brady in New England never happened” and there was never a negotiation between the two parties. Brady will now decide where to play in 2020. As of Monday, the quarterback had at least one offer from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Los Angeles Chargers have also been in the mix.

The 2019 season was full of frustrations for Brady. He saw talented received like Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon come and go. They departed well after Rob Gronkowski retired from the NFL. The Pats were never able to adequately replace Gronk and it showed on the field. Brady didn’t make the Pro Bowl for the first time since the 2008 season when he missed the year due to a knee injury.

Brady’s numbers in 2019 weren’t bad – 4,057 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and interceptions. However, his 60.8 completion percentage was his lowest since 2013. His 4,057 passing yards were the lowest (in a full season) since 2010. The 24 passing touchdowns were Brady’s lowest since 2006.

PHOTOS: Fans show their love for Tom Brady over 20 years

It was clear that Brady was frustrated as the quarterback didn’t hold back his emotions in press conferences. On top of that, Brady dealt with several injuries (calf, right shoulder, right elbow and even a toe) that made it harder for him to practice fully throughout the year.

Of course, 2019 was just a small blip on the radar for Brady and the Patriots. We’re talking about the greatest quarterback and one of the great sports stories of all-time. Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion and four-time Super Bowl MVP. He’s a 14-time Pro Bowler, five-time All-Pro, two-time Offensive Player of the Year, one-time Comeback Player of the Year and a three-time NFL MVP.

The Patriots made the greatest move in franchise history when they selected Brady in the sixth round, pick 199 overall, in the 2000 NFL Draft. Following the selection, Brady even told owner Robert Kraft, “I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.”

It was a bold statement that quickly turned out to be true.

In 2000, Brady was fourth on the Patriots quarterback depth chart behind Drew Bledsoe, Cheap John Friesz Jersey and Michael Bishop. The next season, he replaced Bledsoe when the starter went down with a serious internal injury. Brady never looked back and led the Patriots to the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history. The Patriots traded Bledsoe the next offseason and for the past 20 years, Brady has been under center in Foxboro.

PHOTOS: Tom Brady 20 years with the Patriots

That’s about to change. With Brady gone, the Pats will turn their attention to the quarterback position. The team has two internal options in Jarrett Stidham and Cody Kessler. Stidham, the team’s fourth-round pick in 2019, was outstanding last summer in training camp. The 23-year-old threw just four passes last season (2/4 for 14 yards and an interception). Kessler, 26, has started 12 career games for the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Patriots could turn their attention to the free agent market. The best available quarterbacks are Jameis Winston, Phillip Rivers and Teddy Bridgewater. If the Patriots want to trade for a quarterback, someone like Cam Newton, Derek Carr, Nick Foles or Andy Dalton could be available.

Brady will count for $13.5 million in dead cap space on the Patriots salary cap in 2020.

[email protected]

On Twitter: @MarkDanielsPJ

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Thursday is day No. 21 of Chargers Wire’s countdown to Los Angeles Chargers training camp which begins on July 29. Each day we will count down the best Charger to wear each jersey number from No. 30 to No. 1.

As such, we take a look at the history of the No. 10 for the Bolts.

Former Chargers kicker Cheap Nate Kaeding Jersey beat out former San Diego punter Cheap John Kidd Jersey, who played just over four seasons for the Bolts, and Chargers quarterback Kellen Clemens who is currently on the roster.

Related
Chargers’ Cheap Mike Williams Jersey likely to PUP, injury ‘may be a lot more serious’ than thought
Kaeding played nine seasons in San Diego from 2004-12. During that time, he made 180 out of 207 field goals (87 percent) and was successful on 349 out of 351 extra points (99.4 percent).

In fact, Kaeding’s 87 percent accuracy is good enough for No. 6 all-time in NFL history, per Pro Football Reference.

The former Hawkeye was part of some special seasons as he was on the Chargers 2007 Conference Championship team and witnessed former Chargers running back Cheap LaDainian Tomlinson Jersey record-breaking 2006 campaign.

Overall, the number didn’t have the greatest contenders, but nothing should be taken away from Kaeding as he is one of the best Chargers of all-time and arguably the best kicker in franchise history.

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PRIME TIME IN THE SUNSHINE STATE: The Jaguars will play in their 39th prime-time game in the franchise’s 26-season history in Week 3 on Thursday Night Football against Miami. Jacksonville has a 18-20 record in such contests, including a 5-7 record on Thursday Night Football. This season marks the second time the Jaguars will play Miami in a prime-time game and the first time the Jaguars will play the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. The Jaguars defeated the Dolphins, 28-21, on Monday Night Football on Oct. 12, 1998. Prior to this season’s game against the Dolphins, the Jaguars’ last five games on Thursday Night Football were against the Titans.

Jacksonville’s game against Miami marks the Jaguars’ 16th regular season intrastate game in franchise history. Jacksonville is 8-7 in games against Miami and Tampa Bay through their first 25 seasons, including a 4-4 record against the Dolphins.

SUCCESSFUL IN SEPTEMBER: The Jaguars will play three games in September in 2020, including two games at home and two games against AFC South opponents. During Head Coach Doug Marrone’s three-year tenure with the Jaguars, Jacksonville is 7-4 in the month of September, including 4-3 at home. In Jacksonville’s most recent September game (Sept. 29 at Denver), QB Gardner Minshew II led his first career game-winning drive in a 26-24 victory.

GREAT AGAINST THE AFC NORTH: The Jaguars will face each team from the AFC North in 2020 for the first time since 2017.

Since Doug Marrone was named the Jaguars’ head coach in January 2017, Jacksonville is 6-1 against the AFC North with a +95-point differential, including the postseason. In franchise history, the Jaguars are 49-35 in regular season games against AFC North opponents, the team’s best mark against any division. From 1995-2001, the Jaguars were in the AFC Central with the Browns, Bengals and Steelers. The Jaguars last traveled to Cincinnati in Week 7 of the 2019 season, which resulted in a 27-17 win, and last visited M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in 2015, which the Jaguars won, 22-20, on a 53-yard game-winning FG from K Jason Myers as time expired.

The Jaguars visit the Bengals in Week 4, host the Steelers and Browns in back-to-back weeks, 11 and 12, respectively, and travel to Baltimore in Week 15.

NFC NORTH NUMBERS: The Jaguars will face each member of the NFC North in 2020 for the first time since the 2016 season. Jacksonville has a 9-16 record against the division with its latest win coming against Chicago (17-16 in 2016 at Soldier Field).

The Jaguars will host the Lions on Oct. 18. Jacksonville is slated to make its first trip to Lambeau Field since 2012 to face Green Bay in Week 10, while the Jaguars will make their first trip to U.S. Bank Stadium for a regular season game since the venue opened in 2016 to face the Vikings on Dec. 6. The Bears will visit TIAA Bank Field on Dec. 27 for the first time in eight years in the Jaguars’ regular season home finale.

INDY GIVEN SUNDAY: Jacksonville split the season series against Indianapolis for the second consecutive season in 2019 and is 4-2 against Indianapolis since _Doug Marrone_was named the Jaguars head coach in January 2017. In Week 17 of the 2019 season, the Jaguars defeated the Colts, 38-20, at TIAA Bank Field.

The Jaguars’ 2020 season is book-ended by matchups against the Colts – at home in Week 1 and in Indianapolis in Week 17. The 2020 season marks the second time in franchise history the Jaguars will open and close their season by playing the same team (Indianapolis, 2002). The Jaguars will start and end their season on Sept. 13 and Jan. 3, respectively, the latest dates the Jaguars have started and finished the regular season since 2015.

CITY OF ANGELS: The Jaguars will make their first-ever trip to the Los Angeles area when they travel to face the Chargers in Week 8, in the first year of play in the 70,240-seat SoFi Stadium. Jacksonville has split the last two games in the series against the Chargers, with its last win coming in a 20-17 overtime thriller in 2017. K Cheap Josh Lambo Jersey booted the game-tying FG with 3 seconds remaining in regulation and converted on the game-winner with 3:12 left in overtime.

FAMILIAR FACES: Several members of the 2020 free agent class will face their old teams this season. TE Tyler Eifert, who was originally drafted by the Bengals in the first round of the 2013 draft, posted 2,152 receiving yards and 24 TDs during his eight-year career in the Queen City and will return to Cincinnati in Week 4 (Oct. 4) to face his former club.

LB Joe Schobert will play his former team when the Jaguars host the Browns in Week 12 (Nov. 29). Schobert was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 draft by Cleveland, where he played his first four professional seasons, appearing in 61 games and totaling 408 tackles and six INTs.

CB Rashaan Melvin will play against his former team when the Jaguars host the Lions in Week 6 (Oct. 18). Melvin played in 13 games with 12 starts at CB for Detroit in 2019, tallying 68 tackles and 11 passes defensed.

HOMETOWN KIDS: Several members of the Jaguars rookie class will return to their hometowns in 2020.

First-round DE/LB K’Lavon Chaisson’s homecoming will take place in Week 5 when the Jaguars travel to Houston to face the Texans. Third-round DT DaVon Hamilton (Pickerington, Ohio) and fourth-round CB Josiah Scott (Hamilton, Ohio) will play in front of family and friends when the team plays in Cincinnati against the Bengals on Oct. 4. Seventh-round DB/RS Chris Claybrooks will return to his hometown of Nashville when Jacksonville travels to Tennessee on Sept. 20.

SLATE FEATURES FIVE POSTSEASON TEAMS FROM LAST SEASON: Five of the Jaguars’ 2020 opponents (Baltimore, Houston, Green Bay, Tennessee and Minnesota) qualified for the postseason last year, including three division winners (Baltimore, Houston and Green Bay).

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This year’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers team has the potential to be one of, if not the best team in franchise history. The Bucs are undoubtedly the biggest winners of the offseason as they added Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady as well as previously-retired tight end Rob Gronkowski.

However, even with the vast potential of the 2020 squad, Tampa Bay has had some really solid teams throughout its four-plus decades of existence.

Here are the three best teams in Buccaneers history.

3. 1979
The first three seasons of the Buccaneers’ existence were pretty awful. In the first three years since joining the NFL in 1976, Tampa Bay would post a less-than-ideal 7-37 record, including going 0-14 in year number one.

So, when the Buccaneers came into the 1979 season and ended up winning 10 games, it was a surprise to say the least.

The first double-digit win team in franchise history, the ’79 team was led by a tough-as-nails defense that led the NFL in points allowed per game (14.8). While the team’s offense didn’t fare quite as well as the defense, Tampa Bay still had solid players like 1977 No. 1 overall pick Ricky Bell, who had by far the best season of his career in 1979 when he totaled 1,511 yards from scrimmage and nine total touchdowns.

The Buccaneers would go on to lose a defensive battle in the NFC Championship against the Los Angeles Rams 0-9 and would go back to their losing ways the next season, but the ’79 team is an important footnote in the history of the franchise.

2. 1999
Like the 1979 team, the 1999 Buccaneers team featured an underwhelming offense but one of the best defenses in all of the NFL. The vaunted Tampa 2 defense held opponents to just 14.7 points per game this season and allowed over 21 points just twice during the entire year.

Tampa Bay would eventually fall to The Greatest Show on Turf, the St. Louis Rams, in the NFC Championship but nonetheless, this team was special.

All-Pro fullback Mike Alstott and running back Warrick Dunn carried a solid Bucs rushing attack but it was the defense led by players like Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Warren Sapp, Hardy Nickerson, Ronde Barber and Donnie Abraham that made this team what it was.

1. 2002
It only makes sense that the only Super Bowl champs in team history make the top spot on this list. In new head coach Jon Gruden’s first season after leaving the Oakland Raiders the previous season, the Buccaneers would go 12-4 before skating through the playoffs with an average margin of victory of 23 points.

The 2002 team was essentially an upgraded version of the 1999 iteration as the team allowed only 12.3 points per game to their opponents. Once again, the defense was led by the likes of Brooks, Sapp, Lynch and Barber but this time, the team had Pro Bowl efforts from linebacker Shelton Quarles (113 combined tackles) and defensive end Simeon Rice (team-high 15.5 sacks).

As for the offense, Alstott was joined in the backfield by Michael Pittman (1,195 yards from scrimmage) while wide receivers Keyshawn Johnson and Cheap Keenan McCardell Jersey combined for 1,758 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Perhaps the biggest difference of the 1999 and 2002 teams was the quarterback play of Brad Johnson. In only 13 games, Johnson would throw for over 3,000 yards while tallying 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

A 48-21 shellacking of Gruden’s former team in Super Bowl XXXVII put the cherry on top of the best season and best team in Buccaneers history.

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Derek Carr engineered another late winning drive. Karl Joseph delivered the sealing defensive play.

It may not have come easy, but the Oakland Raiders managed to pull out another dramatic victory that has put them squarely in the AFC playoff race.

Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run with 1:02 remaining and the Raiders pulled out their second thriller in five days, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24 on Thursday night.

“We just found a way to win. That says so much about our team,” Carr said. “Some nights are just tougher than others. This was just one of those nights that was just tougher. You see our team with the resilience. No one cared, No one flinched.

It was a repeat performance from Sunday when Carr’s late TD pass to Hunter Renfrow and Joseph’s pass breakup in the end zone delivered a 31-24 win over Detroit. This time the late-game heroics came after Philip Rivers threw a 6-yard pass to Austin Ekeler that gave the Chargers (4-6) a 24-20 lead with 4:02 remaining.

Carr completed three passes to Jalen Richard and two to Hunter Renfrow to start the game-winning 75-yard drive before Jacobs finished it off with his seventh touchdown of his rookie season, running through a big hole created by center Rodney Hudson and guard Richie Incognito.

“As soon as I saw it, I was just thinking, ‘Go!’” he said. “I knew this would either be a big run or a first down and luckily it was a big run.”

Daniel Carlson missed the extra point, putting more pressure on the tired Raiders defense to stop Rivers. Trayvon Mullen was called for holding on a fourth-down pass to extend the drive, but Joseph then intercepted a fourth-down pass from Rivers to seal it.

RAIDERS 26, CHARGERS 24

L.A. Chargers 0 14 3 7—24

Oakland 10 7 3 6—26

First Quarter

Oak_FG Carlson 40, 8:01. Drive: 6 plays, 9 yards, 3:50. Key Plays: E.Harris 59 interception return to L.A. Chargers 31; G.Jackson 10-yard offensive holding penalty. Oakland 3, L.A. Chargers 0.

Oak_E.Harris 56 interception return (Carlson kick), 6:02. Oakland 10, L.A. Chargers 0.

Second Quarter

LAC_Henry 2 pass from Rivers (Badgley kick), 8:24. Drive: 16 plays, 77 yards, 8:14. Key Plays: Allen 18 run; Watt 1 run on 4th-and-1; Rivers 10 pass to Henry; Rivers 3 pass to Allen on 3rd-and-2. Oakland 10, L.A. Chargers 7.

LAC_Gordon 3 run (Badgley kick), 4:14. Drive: 4 plays, 49 yards, 2:06. Key Plays: Rivers 25 pass to Gordon; Rivers 13 pass to Henry. L.A. Chargers 14, Oakland 10.

Oak_Ingold 9 pass from Carr (Carlson kick), :20. Drive: 10 plays, 76 yards, 3:54. Key Plays: Carr 17 pass to Jacobs; M.Davis 10-yard defensive pass interference penalty; Carr 10 pass to Z.Jones; Ingold 3 run on 4th-and-1; Carr 13 pass to Richard. Oakland 17, L.A. Chargers 14.

Third Quarter

Oak_FG Carlson 22, 11:33. Drive: 9 plays, 69 yards, 3:27. Key Plays: D.King 15-yard face mask penalty on 3rd-and-7; Carr 14 pass to Renfrow on 3rd-and-7; Carr 27 pass to Waller. Oakland 20, L.A. Chargers 14.

LAC_FG Badgley 27, :25. Drive: 6 plays, 74 yards, 3:31. Key Plays: Rivers 45 pass to M.Williams; Gordon 24 run; Rivers 7 pass to Allen. Oakland 20, L.A. Chargers 17.

Fourth Quarter

LAC_Ekeler 6 pass from Rivers (Badgley kick), 4:02. Drive: 12 plays, 80 yards, 8:05. Key Plays: Rivers 11 pass to Ekeler; Rivers 6 pass to Allen on 3rd-and-4; D.Worley 12-yard defensive pass interference penalty; T.Scott 10-yard offensive holding penalty; Rivers 29 pass to Allen; Rivers 26 pass to Allen; Rivers 10 pass to M.Williams. L.A. Chargers 24, Oakland 20.

Oak_Jacobs 18 run (kick failed), 1:02. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 3:00. Key Plays: Carr 11 pass to Richard; Carr 10 pass to Renfrow; Carr 10 pass to Richard; Carr 13 pass to Renfrow. Oakland 26, L.A. Chargers 24.

A_51,954.

___

LAC Oak

FIRST DOWNS 26 18

Rushing 10 3

Passing 11 12

Penalty 5 3

THIRD DOWN EFF 3-10 4-12

FOURTH DOWN EFF 1-2 1-1

TOTAL NET YARDS 315 278

Total Plays 66 55

Avg Gain 4.8 5.1

NET YARDS RUSHING 146 78

Rushes 30 21

Avg per rush 4.9 3.7

NET YARDS PASSING 169 200

Sacked-Yds lost 5-38 3-18

Gross-Yds passing 207 218

Completed-Att. 17-31 21-31

Had Intercepted 3 0

Yards-Pass Play 4.7 5.9

KICKOFFS-EndZone-TB 5-0-0 6-4-3

PUNTS-Avg. 3-43.3 4-42.5

Punts blocked. 0 0

FGs-PATs blocked 0-0 0-0

TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE 71 220

Punt Returns 3-19 2-11

Kickoff Returns 3-52 5-94

Interceptions 0-0 3-115

PENALTIES-Yds 8-70 12-97

FUMBLES-Lost 1-0 0-0

TIME OF POSSESSION 34:10 25:50

___

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING_L.A. Chargers, Gordon 22-108, Ekeler 6-19, Allen 1-18, Watt 1-1. Oakland, Jacobs 16-71, Carr 1-4, Ingold 1-3, Washington 1-0, Richard 2-0.

PASSING_L.A. Chargers, Rivers 17-31-3-207. Oakland, Carr 21-31-0-218.

RECEIVING_L.A. Chargers, Allen 8-68, Henry 4-30, Williams 2-55, Ekeler 2-29, Gordon 1-25. Oakland, Richard 4-43, Renfrow 4-42, Waller 3-40, Jacobs 3-30, Williams 3-25, Washington 2-19, Jones 1-10, Ingold 1-9.

PUNT RETURNS_L.A. Chargers, King 3-19. Oakland, Davis 2-11.

KICKOFF RETURNS_L.A. Chargers, Pope 3-52. Oakland, Davis 5-94.

TACKLES-ASSISTS-SACKS_L.A. Chargers, Ingram 7-0-2, Tranquill 6-8-0, Davis 6-5-0, Davis 4-0-0, King 3-1-0, Watkins 2-2-0, Square 2-1-0, Jenkins 1-3-0, Williams 1-1-0, Bosa 1-1-0, Hayward 1-1-0, Nwosu 1-0-1, White 1-0-0, Rochell 1-0-0, Tillery 0-2-0, Mebane 0-1-0. Oakland, Whitehead 8-6-0, Ferrell 5-3-2.5, Morrow 5-3-0, Joseph 4-2-0, Joyner 3-4-0, Mullen 3-2-0, Worley 3-0-0, Hall 2-2-0, Mayowa 2-1-1.5, Crosby 1-2-.5, Hankins 1-2-0, Hurst 1-1-.5, McClain 0-2-0, Compton 0-1-0, Harris 0-1-0.

INTERCEPTIONS_L.A. Chargers, None. Oakland, Harris 2-115, Joseph 1-0.

MISSED FIELD GOALS_Oakland, Carlson 53.

___

OFFICIALS_Referee Walt Anderson, Ump Ruben Fowler, HL Mike Spanier, LJ Byron Boston, FJ Lee Dyer, SJ Rick Patterson, BJ Cheap Keith Ferguson Jersey, Replay Brian Matoren.

“That says a lot about our team,” coach Jon Gruden said. “We have a lot of resilient guys. We compete. You may beat us. But we’ll be a hard out to get. We’ll battle.”

Rivers threw interceptions on his first two drives, falling into a 10-0 hole when Erik Harris took the second back 56 yards for a TD . But Rivers responded by throwing two TD passes, including the go-ahead score to Ekeler in his final start at the Coliseum. But he fell short at the end.

“You give a team 10 points at their place and then you have the ball with a chance to win at the end and you have eight snaps and go nowhere, it’s going to be tough to win,” Rivers said.

The Raiders blew a chance to open up the game in the third quarter, settling for a field goal after driving to the 4 on the opening drive and then missing a 53-yard field goal in the next drive after DeAndre Washington got stuffed for no gain on third-and-1.

The Chargers settled for a field goal after getting inside the 10 later in the quarter.

Cheap Melvin Gordon Jersey had 22 carries for 108 yards and a TD that put the Chargers up 14-10 in the second quarter.

The Raiders responded with their first sustained drive of the game and took a 17-14 lead at the half on Carr’s 9-yard pass to rookie fullback Alec Ingold with 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

PICK IT

Harris intercepted Rivers’ passes on the first two drives of the game. He returned the first one 59 yards to the 31, setting up a field goal by Daniel Carlson. Harris then took the second one back 56 yards for a TD, giving the Raiders a 10-0 lead. Harris became the first Raiders player since Phillip Buchanon in 2003 to have two interceptions, including a pick-6 in a single game.

ROOKIE BREAKTHROUGH

Raiders rookie pass rushers Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby had big performances. Ferrell had 2 ½ sacks after recording none since the season opener for the most by a Raiders rookie in 28 years and also had five pressures, according to NextGen stats.

“That was a signature game for him,” Gruden said. “That was great for him to get some sacks and maybe some of the people who are counting sacks out there will acknowledge those.”

Crosby had 10 pressures, including two on interceptions, and also added a half-sack.

INJURIES

Chargers: LT Russell Okung left in the first quarter with a groin injury and didn’t return. … DE Cheap Melvin Ingram Jersey went down with a shoulder injury in the closing seconds of the second quarter but returned for the second half.

Raiders: Joseph hurt his right knee on the interception and was on crutches after the game. … DB Lamarcus Joyner also got hurt on the final drive.

UP NEXT

Chargers: Face Kansas City on Nov. 18 in Mexico City.

Raiders: Host Cincinnati on Nov. 17.

LOS ANGELES: Rivers’ 3 INTs send Chargers to 26-24 loss to Raiders

OAKLAND, Calif. — Philip Rivers had one drive to salvage an up-and-down performance and end his final scheduled trip to the Oakland Coliseum on a winning note.

Six straight incomplete passes followed by his third interception of the game ended those chances and dealt a serious blow to the Los Angeles Chargers’ playoff hopes.

Rivers threw interceptions on his first two drives to put the Chargers in an early hole and then again on his final pass to seal the Oakland Raiders’ 26-24 victory over Los Angeles on Thursday night.

“You give a team 10 points at their place and then you have the ball with a chance to win at the end and you have eight snaps and go nowhere, it’s going to be tough to win,” Rivers said.

Now it will be tough for the Chargers (4-6) to make the playoffs. They fell to seventh place in the AFC wild-card chase and can ill afford many more slipups if they want to get back to the postseason.

“That’s probably the most upsetting thing about this is we can’t afford another loss,” said running back Melvin Gordon, who ran for 108 yards and a TD. “Have to play our best football, which isn’t impossible, but we have to get some guys back and try to make this move.”

A win against the Raiders (5-4) would have gone a long way to helping those chances, and Rivers was hopeful of delivering it at one of his favorite road venues.

Rivers made his NFL starting debut at the Coliseum and has the most wins (nine), yards passing (3,705) and TD passes (26) of any visiting quarterback in Oakland.

An errant pass to Keenan Allen that Erik Harris intercepted on the first drive of the game also gave Rivers the most interceptions with 11, breaking a tie with Joe Namath.

Rivers was off-target again on the second drive thanks to heavy pressure from the Raiders defense, and Harris returned that one 56 yards for a TD that made it 10-0 Oakland.

Rivers and the Chargers settled down from there as he capped a 16-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown to Hunter Henry. Gordon added another touchdown.

Rivers led a go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter capped by a 6-yard TD pass Austin Ekeler with 4:02 remaining, but the defense couldn’t hold the lead, allowing Derek Carr and the Raiders to drive 75 yards capped by Josh Jacobs’ 18-yard run with 1:02 to play.

When Daniel Carlson missed the extra point to keep the score 26-24, that left plenty of time for Rivers to engineer a winning drive for a field goal.

He threw three straight incomplete passes to start it off, only to get bailed out by a fourth-down holding call on Trayvon Mullen. That only prolonged the agony as Rivers threw three more incomplete passes as the Chargers didn’t get the ball to Gordon at all on a night where he was the most effective option despite having all three timeouts.

“We were trying to move the ball downfield,” coach Anthony Lynn said. “We needed to score. They did a heck of a job. They locked us up. We had eight shots, I don’t think we gained one yard. Put ourselves in position to win at the end. We didn’t stop anybody and we didn’t make any plays on offense. It’s disappointing.”

Then Rivers’ night ended when his last-gasp pass to Allen was intercepted by Karl Joseph, setting off a wild celebration at the Coliseum.

“It was not the way you want to end your time coming here,” he said. “It’s one of the last-standing, one of the last few active old school NFL stadiums, kind of one of the originals. The atmosphere tonight was awesome.”

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On Tuesday we unveiled our Top 10 defensive line groups in college football. The 2016 preseason position rankings continue with the 10 best linebacking groups.

1. Alabama: The Tide lost SEC Defensive Player of the Year Reggie Ragland, but still have an eye-catching collection of linebackers. Let’s start with pass-rushing terror Tim Williams, who produced 10.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for losses (TFLs) in limited snaps. Coaches at Bama rave about how instinctive the 6-3, 245-pound Williams is. He’s both explosive and strong but also has a great feel for time and space, the way Charles Haley did. The question for Williams in 2016 is how well can he play the run? With Reuben Foster, a 6-1, 240-pound senior, that’s no issue. He was second on the team last year with 73 tackles and also had eight TFLs. Foster lights people up in the run game. He’s also a leader of the defense and brings plenty of juice to this defense. Ryan Anderson is the other outside linebacker and he’s bigger than a lot of D-linemen at 6-2, 258. He had 11.5 TFLs and six sacks last season. Shaun Dion Hamilton started five games last season and he’s also back. Rashaan Evans, Christian Miller, Anfernee Jennings, a 270-pound guy who gave the O-line fits last year, would probably start at a bunch of other SEC programs and are pushing for more snaps in Tuscaloosa.

2. Michigan State: An excellent group that could get even better if — €”as we expect — Ed Davis gets cleared for his sixth season. The 6-3, 225-pound standout who had 12 TFLs and seven sacks in 2014 was sidelined last season by a knee injury he suffered in training camp. Davis is an All-American talent. He’s a good blitzer, slippery and just a really smart football player. In his absence Riley Bullough and Jon Reschke both blossomed, combining for 181 tackles and 13 TFLs. MSU LB coach Mark Snyder, who coached under Mark Dantonio at Ohio State when they had a bunch of play-making linebackers, sees some comparisons with his old Buckeye standouts, likening Bullough “a smart, tough, leader who has good ball skills” to A.J. Hawk and Reschke who is longer and really athletic and good in space like Bobby Carpenter. Chris Frey, an old Chris Spielman protege, is also tough and physical and has taken a step forward by shedding about 15 pounds. Junior Shane Jones, who started a game in 2015 at middle linebacker, played well when he was called upon. Another big plus with this group is that the players are so interchangeable, having the ability to play multiple linebacking spots. Reschke can play all three positions. Sophomore Andrew Dowell, a former prep running back, may be the fastest of the bunch and is getting a good education learning from the older Spartan backers. Oh, and there’s yet another Bullough in the pipeline — Byron, a 6-1, 225-pound sophomore who also had a really strong spring and impressed the MSU coaches.

3. Louisville: Devonte Fields’ off-field issues led to his dismissal from TCU. The 6-4, 245-pounder has turned around and made a huge impact on the Cardinals defense. He led the nation in TFLs last year with 22.5 and he really came on late in the season, notching 8.5 sacks in the last four games. Senior Keith Kelsey (107 tackles, 12 TFLs) is also very productive. JC transfer Trevon Young, at 6-4, 230, made eight starts last year and had 8.5 sacks and 10 TFLs. He is coming back from a hip injury though. If Young isn’t back close to 100 percent junior James Hearns, a 6-3, 255-pounder who gave the Cards O-linemen fits this spring, appears ready to step in. Stacy Thomas, who also is a standout on the U of L special teams, had 31 tackles last season and also figures to contribute a lot for the Cards at linebacker this fall.

4. Wisconsin: Joe Schobert who made 19.5 TFLs and forced five fumbles last season, has moved on to the NFL, but senior Vince Biegel is still here and he’s terrific. He had 14 TFLs and eight sacks to go with 66 tackles. Pro Football Focus ranks Biegel as the nation’s top returning outside linebacker, grading him No. 1 both against the run and as a pass rusher. But it wasn’t Biegel or Schobert who led the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense (13.7 ppg) in tackles in 2015. That was T.J Edwards who also is back after making 84 tackles as a redshirt freshman last year. Jack Cichy, who had 8.5 TFLs and shined in the bowl game by making sacks on three consecutive plays against USC, is battling Chris Orr (46 tackles) to be the other starting ILB next to Edwards. J.J. Watt’s brother, T.J., a 6-5, 242-pound sophomore former tight end, is being tabbed to fill in for the departed Schobert. The other big loss for UW is defensive coordinator Dave Aranda who left for LSU. Justin Wilcox comes from USC to take over the D and he does have plenty to work with here but the schedule it brutal in the first two months.

5. Washington: Even after losing four of the top 44 picks in the 2015 NFL draft on defense, the Huskies still had one of the best defenses in college football last season. A fleet group of linebackers had a lot to do with that. Travis Feeney and Cory Littleton have moved on to the NFL, but Azeem Victor (95 tackles and nine TFLs) and Keishawn Beierra (77 tackles and 7.5 TFLs) are still around ready to make plays. Joe Mathis, who started seven games last year and had six TFLs at defensive end will play linebacker this year. He’s pretty stout at 250-plus. Psalm Wooching, a former running back and rugby standout, is also pushing for the other vacant starting spot. Ben Burr-Kirven, a former high school sprinter, was a special teams star but also played well when he got into the game at linebacker as a freshman in 2015.

6. Tennessee: New defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has produced terrific defenses at Penn State and Vanderbilt the past five years, and he inherits a pretty athletic group of linebackers led by Jalen Reeves Maybin, who has piled up 206 tackles in the past two seasons. Reeves-Maybin isn’t huge at 6-0, 230 but he runs in the 4.6s and plays even faster than that because he diagnoses things so quickly. He’s also a real leader. The name to remember here though is Darrin Kirkland Jr. He started 10 games last year at middle linebacker as a true freshman, but he’s primed for a breakout season in 2016. The 6-1, 235-pounder with 4.5 speed had Shoop very excited when I visited UT in spring. “His football IQ is off the charts,” said Shoop. “He runs well. He just gets it. He’s only a true sophomore. When it’s all said and done for him, we’ll be talking about him on a short list of players here at Tennessee.” Another young LB on the rise is sophomore Quart’e Sapp, who also can really run. The UT staff was impressed with how he came on over the last two-thirds of spring becoming much more physical. Former walk-on Colton Jumper Cortez McDowell and Cheap Kenny Bynum Jersey also will push for playing time.

7. Vanderbilt: The Commodores have really struggled since Derek Mason took over the program, but he did get the defense playing well again in 2015, when it finished No. 28 in total defense and was No. 6 in third-down defense. A big reason for that toughness is an excellent group of linebackers. Zach Cunningham is probably the best-kept secret in the SEC. The 6-4, 230-pounder made 103 tackles last season to go with 16.5 TFLs and four forced fumbles. Oren Burks, another rangy guy at 6-3, was a two-year starter at safety before moving into the SAM linebacker spot. He had 58 tackles, three INTs and six pass break-ups in 2015. Landon Stokes, at 6-4, 240, started the last five games at OLB. Another name to remember is Nigel Bowden, who was a 2014 SEC All-Freshman selection when he became the first freshman to lead Vandy in tackles since LB Jamie Winborn did so in 1998. The 6-1, 240-pounder missed most of last season with concussion symptoms but Mason said he’s 100 percent recovered.

Salamo Fiso is on the improve.

8. Arizona State: A gambling D got burned quite a bit in 2015 as the Sun Devils finished No. 113 in total defense, but there’s plenty of optimism for big improvement because of this group of linebackers. Salamo Fiso is not big at about 6-0, 230, but he’s matured into a big-play guy, producing a Pac-12 best 20 TFLs last year along with 99 tackles. Christian Sam, a 6-1, 240-pounder from Texas, made almost as many tackles with 98. The other LB could be JC transfer Koron Crump, who is much rangier at 6-4, 220. He had 32 TFLs and 21 sacks in two seasons of JC ball. Coach Todd Graham gushed about how athletic and relentless Crump was in spring ball.

9. Penn State: The Nittany Lions have a good batch of linebackers again. Athletically, it’s a solid group although their top three is probably a bit below some of the other elite LBs in the country. Jason Cabinda made 100 tackles last year and he’s just very solid. Senior Brandon Bell who plays field linebacker made 12.5 TFLs in 2015 and has a good knack for making plays. Nyeem Wartman White, at 6-1, 250, is back from a knee injury that cost him almost all of last year. Like Cabinda, he’s a good box backer who is really football smart.

10. (Tie) UCLA: This group would probably be even higher on the list if Deon Hollins wasn’t now considered a defensive end and was still a linebacker, but it’s still a strong group led by playmaking LB Jayon Brown, who entered the line-up after Myles Jack got hurt and shined. Brown proceeded to lead the Bruins in tackles with 93, displaying a nose for the ball that reminds UCLA coaches of former standout Eric Kendricks. In Kenny Young, UCLA has a guy who started 12 games last season and had 69 tackles despite battling through some nagging injuries. Young had a strong spring, showing how physical he could be as he was faced by a scheme that now has heavier personnel packages. Isaako Savaiinaea provides another physical presence while freshmen Lokeni Toailoa, who brings a similar game and turned heads this spring. The best athlete of the bunch is five-star recruit Mique Juarez, who suffered a concussion on the first day of spring practice. Cam Judge, a special teams captain, provides good depth.

10. (Tie) K-State: Junior Elijah Lee is one of the first athletes you notice when you watch K-State in person. He’s rangy and athletic at 6-3, 220 and he did everything for the Wildcats in 2015, making 80 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, five sacks, and three INTs. He became the first underclassman to lead K-State in tackles since Mark Simoneau did it in 1998. The other two starters — €”Charmeachealle Moore and Will Davis — also make more than their share of plays for the Wildcats, combining for 109 more tackles.

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SAN DIEGO, Aug. 26 (UPI) — One day after his release by St. Louis on Monday, running back Cheap Leon Johnson Jersey signed a one-year contract with the San Diego Chargers.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Johnson, a five-year veteran, spent the past two years with the Chicago Bears after three seasons with the New York Jets. The Rams signed him as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

In 57 career games, including seven starts, Johnson has rushed for 773 yards and nine touchdowns on 213 carries. He also has caught 46 passes for 380 yards and two scores.

Johnson, taken by the Jets in the fourth round of the 1997 draft, primarily has been used as a punt and kick returner, and has 109 punt returns for 1,116 yards and 51 kickoffs for 1,134 yards.

Last season, he played in all 16 games for the Bears and started four. He was Chicago’s second-leading rusher with 329 yards on 103 carries.

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When it comes to the Hall of Fame, whether it is for sports, movies, or professional wrestling, there are always arguments about who was snubbed and who deserved to get into the Hall of Fame over someone else. In some sports, such as baseball, the debate is intense, as so few people receive inductions each year.

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In the NFL, more people enter each season, but there are still arguments. Usually, it is fans of a specific team who want to see one of their legendary favorites make it into the Hall of Fame, and other times it just seems that a worthy candidate is passed over year after year for a much-deserved induction. Here is a look at 10 of the best NFL players that should be in the Hall of Fame.

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10
CHUCK HOWLEY

There are 20 former Dallas Cowboys stars in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and that is no surprise. The Cowboys have played in eight Super Bowls and won five of them. However, one of their best is still not in the Hall of Fame.

Chuck Howley is a Super Bowl champion, six-time Pro Bowl selection, and five-time All-Pro. He even won the Super Bowl MVP, the only player in history to win the award on a losing team.

9
LESLIE O’NEAL

Cheap Leslie ONeal Jersey had a 13-year career in the NFL, spending his best years with the San Diego Chargers from 1986-1995. During that time, the defensive end/linebacker played in six Pro Bowls and ended up inducted into the Los Angeles Chargers Hall of Fame.

He finished his career with 132.5 sacks, 14th most since the NFL began recording them as a stat. He averaged 12 sacks a season for six of seven seasons in the early 90s.

8
ZACH THOMAS

Zach Thomas finished first in the NFL twice in his fantastic career, in 2002 and 2006, and is in the top five all-time in NFL history with 1,727 total tackles. Thomas also had an impressive 1,100 solo tackles in his career as he was the Miami Dolphins cornerstone on defense from 1996-2006.

Thomas is part of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s and is in the College Football Hall of Fame, but is still waiting for a call to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

7
L.C. GREENWOOD

The Pittsburgh Steelers have several players from the ’70s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and for a good reason. They won four Super Bowls from 1975 to 1980 in four appearances. Ten Steelers from that era are in the Hall of Fame, but one name missing is L.C. Greenwood.

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He was on the ’70s All-Decade NFL Team and was a six-time Pro Bowl star who played in all four Super Bowl wins and led the Steelers in sacks six times in his career.

6
ROGER CRAIG

There wasn’t a team more successful in the ’80s than the San Francisco 49ers. While Joe Montana and Jerry Rice got a lot of the credit, running back Roger Craig doesn’t get enough credit for his role in those Super Bowl-winning teams.

He was the first player in NFL history to have a season with both 1,000 yards receiving and rushing and was part of three Super Bowl championship teams. He also won the Offensive Player of the Year in 1988.

5
DREW PEARSON

There is only one member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s from the Dallas Cowboys who is not in the Hall of Fame. That man is wide receiver, Drew Pearson. The original No. 88 played for the Cowboys from 1973-1983 and retired as their’ all-time leading receiver.

He won a Super Bowl, made the Pro Bowl three times and was a five-time All-Pro player. He was passed up once again for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2020 Centennial Class.

4
CLIFF BRANCH

Cliff Branch is one of several wide receivers that the Pro Football Hall of Fame has shunned over the years. The former Raiders wideout was one of the most exciting receivers in the NFL in the ’70s and was the true deep threat on the dangerous team that decade.

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Branch led the NFL in receiving touchdowns twice in a three-year period and was named to four Pro Bowls and received three first-team All-Pro nods. He won three Super Bowl rings over his career in the silver and black.

3
STEVE WISNIEWSKI

Steve Wisniewski was one of the best offensive linemen to play in the NFL in the ’90s. The Raiders left guard played for over a decade as the anchor of the line, playing in eight Pro Bowls through the decade.

He was also named to the ’90s All-Decade NFL team, proving his worth to the Raiders and the NFL. However, the one thing possibly keeping him out is his reputation as a “dirty player,” but that endeared him more to the Raiders’ faithful.

2
TORRY HOLT

The St. Louis Rams were known as the Greatest Show on Turf in the ’90s, and names like Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but the receivers that made the team so exciting, Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, are not.

For Holt, he put up video game numbers for the Rams, helping them win Super Bowl XXXIV. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl star and led the NFL in receiving yards twice.

1
JOHN LYNCH

It seems almost shocking that John Lynch still isn’t in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The man was one of the most feared hitters in NFL history when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a man who defined the hard-nosed play of the strong safety position.

Lynch led the defense that won Super Bowl XXXVII and was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection. He has been a finalist for the Hall of Fame multiple times but has yet to get over the bubble.

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For the Chargers franchise, many coaches, players, and results have left a memorable imprint in both San Diego and Los Angeles. With their new jersey combinations touching on both the present and historical aspects of their franchise, they are able to combine everything many fans know and love about them.

Players like LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Phillip Rivers, Cheap Ryan Leaf Jersey, Junior Seau, Mike Tolbert, Darren Sproles, Donnie Edwards, Nate Kaeding, and others all bring recency into the conversation, while the likes of Dan Fouts, Gary Garrison, Cheap Ron Mix Jersey, Lance Alworth, Kellen Winslow, Leslie O’Neal, John Hadl, and others, help provide that historical aspect that helps the Chargers remain relevant looking back a long while.

Every franchise has those few teams that have truly put it all together in one given season – the undefeated Miami Dolphins back in 1972, the 2007 New England Patriots that ran the table but fell short in the Super Bowl, and the 1962 Green Bay Packers that won the NFL Championship that year all while forcing 50?!? turnovers in 14 regular-season games, all come to mind when talking about greatness.

But for the Chargers, their history has helped give them a very interesting leg to stand on in terms of all-time franchises across the league, and their three best teams of all time have also provided countless memories for the annals of NFL history as well.

Here are the three greatest seasons in Chargers’ franchise history.

2010 Chargers
Record: 9-7
Season Outcome: Missed playoffs

Starting off a list of greatest teams ever in a history of a franchise and including a team that went 9-7 usually does not offer up a ton in terms of a strong history. But for this team, they had everything in place to succeed and make a huge run – except for one area.

Led by head coach Norv Turner, Rivers at quarterback, a three-headed monster in the backfield of Tolbert, Ryan Matthews, and Darren Sproles, offensive weapons like Gates and Malcom Floyd, and led on defense by safety Eric Weddle and outside linebacker Cheap Shaun Phillips Jersey, this team was stacked – on paper.

Their offensive coordinator, Clarence Shelmon, produced the league’s top unit, while defensive coordinator Ron Rivera also helped coach and curate the best defensive unit out of all 30 teams. That alone makes this team special, but their shortcomings, focused mainly on the lack of special teams production, were their downfall, leading to missing the playoffs all together.

Gates and Rivers were Pro Bowl selections on offense, while Phillips was the lone rep from the defense, and while their 9-7 record (2nd in the AFC West) was such a misrepresentation of the roster’s talent, this was one of the better teams that the Chargers have ever had at their disposal – it it just very unfortunate that they were not able to take advantage of the talent that they had and turn it into something meaningful.

To produce two top units in the entire league and miss out on the postseason just is a ludicrous thought for a football team, yet the Chargers were forced to deal with that reality in 2010.

1994 Chargers
Record: 11-5
Season Outcome: Lost in Super Bowl XXIX

Regarded as a ‘Cinderella’ team back in 1994, the Chargers, which were led by coach Bobby Ross at the time, came into this season with no real high expectations for the team, which seemed to have played perfectly into what they were about to do.

They were the lone team that season to win their first six regular-season contests, and at the halfway mark of the year, they boasted a 7-1 record, finally earning some much-deserved attention and appreciation from the media and their league peers.

While their 4-4 end to the regular season was not nearly strong enough to lock in the top seed in the AFC for the playoffs, their second seed ended up placing them against the Miami Dolphins in the Divisional Round, squeaking by 22-21. The following week, they again won a close game, this time by a score of 17-13 over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Chargers ended up earning the AFC bid to the Super Bowl even after having trailed going into halftime of both of their postseason games, which showed that their roster was built to withstand some adversity (more on this later).

While they were eventually thrashed in the Super Bowl by the San Francisco 49ers and Steve Young, 49-26, the team’s first and only Super Bowl appearance up to this point was a real turning point for the franchise in terms of their expectations.

Their roster only boasted one Pro Bowl player on offense (running back Natrone Means) and two on defense (Seau and O’Neill, with Seau also earning a 1st-Team honor), but was filled with solid role players on both sides of the ball, helping make up for their lack of perceived talent.

They came into the season facing +7500 odds for winning the Super Bowl, and their 11-5 season resulted in the best season under Ross that the Chargers experienced in his five-year coaching career for the Bolts.

Success aside, this team actually has faced a lot of tragedy ever since that season, starting as soon as the following June. A total of eight players and one equipment manager has passed away since 1995 for that team (no players were older than 44 at their time of passing), unfortunately giving this team the ‘cursed’ label of sorts.

LB David Griggs, RB Rodney Culver, LB Doug Miller, equipment manager Sidney ‘Doc’ Brooks, C Curtis Whitley, DE Chris Mims, DE Cheap Shawn Lee Jersey, LB Cheap Lewis Bush Jersey, and maybe most notably, LB Junior Seau, all passed away in a window from June 19, 1995, to May 2, 2012, casting a very dark cloud around what was a very joyous time for the franchise.

1979 Chargers
Record: 12-4
Season Outcome: Lost in AFC Divisional Round

In the first full season under the helm of head coach Don Coryell, the Chargers decided to light the NFL on fire with the ‘Air Coryell’ offensive scheme, which relied heavily on passing the ball and resulted in the breakouts of QB Dan Fouts, WR Charlie Joiner, and TE Kellen Winslow. All three players went on to earn Hall of Fame inductions, and their HOF availability can be tied directly back to the year 1979.

Coryell had taken over four games into the 1978 season for the Chargers, and while they produced a very solid 8-4 record under him, they were unable to get out from underneath the 1-3 hole that former head coach Tommy Prothro had left the team in. Regardless, Coryell took over and instilled his pass-heavy offensive scheme, which worked excellently and helped propel the Chargers back into AFC relevancy.

The Chargers led the lead for six consecutive seasons in passing yards, throwing for over 24,000 yards from 1978-1983. Fouts became the first QB in NFL history to produce three consecutive 4,000-yard seasons, and ‘79 was the first full year of the Air Coryell system, paving the way for future success for the Chargers.

While they did fall to the Houston Oilers in the AFC Divisional Round, the Chargers’ ‘79 season started a string of three-consecutive AFC West divisional titles, and this was also the year that Coryell earned his lone AFC Coach of the Year award as well.

Besides the three offensive superstars, other notable names on this team include OC Joe Gibbs, WR coach Ernie Zampese, DC Jackie Simpson, WR John Jefferson (Pro Bowl and 1st-Team All-Pro in ‘79), FB Clarence Williams, DE Fred Dean (Pro Bowl), and DT Gary Johnson (Pro Bowl), among others.

While the Air Coryell offensive scheme is not directly used in the NFL anymore, it walked so the likes of the West Coast offense and other high-powered offensive elements could run and thrive in today’s NFL, which helped make the league as fun and enjoyable as it is today.

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Fans love sports because there is always the chance to see something spectacular, unlikely or both during any given game. Typically, feats of greatness are the most memorable, but often times, infamous plays make headlines and leave an indelible mark on fans of both the winning and losing teams. The most infamous plays frequently end up changing the course of sports history. Glory is overrated, and sometimes shame needs its day in the sun — or clouds, as it were. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most infamous plays in sports history.

1 of 40Merkle’s Boner
Merkle’s Boner
Chicago History Museum / Contributor
Rookie Fred Merkle’s New York Giants appeared to have a crucial win over the Chicago Cubs after a base hit scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Merkle, who was on first base when the ball was hit, failed to touch second base after a delirious crowd poured onto the field as the winning run crossed the plate. Noticing this, Cubs second baseman Johnny Evers managed to find the baseball with assistance from center fielder Solly Hofman, and when Evers touched second base, Merkle was ruled out and the winning run nullified. The Cubs won the makeup game and ended up winning the pennant by one game over New York.

2 of 40Jim Marshall runs the wrong way
Jim Marshall runs the wrong way
Focus On Sport / Contributor
Marshall, a defensive end who at the time of his retirement owned the NFL’s career records for consecutive starts and games played, picked up a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 25, 1964. He proceeded to run 66 yards to the wrong end zone, throwing the ball out of the end zone in celebration and causing a safety. The Vikings still won, 27-22, thanks to Marshall also forcing a fumble with a sack, one that his teammate Carl Eller picked up and ran (the right way) for a touchdown.

3 of 40Roberto De Vicenzo signs an incorrect scorecard
Roberto De Vicenzo signs an incorrect scorecard
Bettmann / Contributor
De Vicenzo, the reigning Open champion, looked poised for a Monday Masters playoff with Bob Goalby after both men finished the final round at -11. One problem: De Vicenzo’s playing partner, Tommy Aaron, incorrectly marked a four instead of a birdie three for De Vicenzo at the 17 th hole, and De Vicenzo mistakenly signed the scorecard. The rules stipulated that he had to take the higher score and thus finished one shot behind Goalby despite, you know, shooting the same score.

4 of 40 Pete Rose injures Ray Fosse
Pete Rose injures Ray Fosse
Bettmann / Contributor
Rose was known for his all-out play, so much so that it was the inspiration behind his derisive “Charlie Hustle” nickname. His style most notoriously manifested itself at the 1970 All-Star Game, when he barreled into Cleveland Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the bottom of the 12 th inning. Fosse never had the ball on the play and suffered a separated shoulder, one of many injuries that dramatically affected his career from that point forward.

5 of 40Doug Sanders putts away The Open
Doug Sanders putts away The Open
A. Jones / Stringer
American Doug Sanders had the 1970 Open Championship at St. Andrews in the bag, needing just a 3-foot putt at the 18th hole for victory. In a moment that produced one of golf’s most well-known photographs, Sanders, normally known for his prowess on the greens, missed the putt, dropping him into a tie with Jack Nicklaus, who would go on to beat him by one in an 18-hole playoff the following day.

6 of 40The USSR gets a re-do, beats USA for 1972 Olympic gold
The USSR gets a re-do, beats USA for 1972 Olympic gold
NCAA Photos / Contributor
At the height of the Cold War, the USSR and USA met in the 1972 Summer Olympics gold medal basketball game, in Munich, Germany. Controversy ensued in the final seconds, after Doug Collins put the USA ahead, 50-49, with a made free throw. The final Soviet possession was ultimately replayed three times, with the Soviets finally scoring the winning basket on the third try. Despite a U.S. protest, the Soviets were awarded the gold, marking the first time in basketball’s history as an Olympic sport that the United States had failed to win gold.

7 of 40The Holy Roller
The Holy Roller
The Sporting News / Contributor
The Oakland Raiders took on the San Diego Chargers in Week 2 of the 1978 season and trailed 20-14 with 10 seconds left. Oakland was on the Chargers’ 14-yard line and won the game with a series of forward fumbles started by quarterback Ken Stabler, and finished by tight end Dave Casper. The officiating crew found it impossible to prove that any of the maneuvers had been intentional and thus allowed the play to stand. The NFL amended its rules the following season so as to prevent such a play from ever happening again.

8 of 40Miracle at the Meadowlands
Miracle at the Meadowlands
New York Post Archives / Contributor
Did you know that quarterbacks were not allowed to kneel as a means of running out the clock in the NFL? The rule permitting them to do so did not take effect until 1987, so many quarterbacks prior to that would take the snap and fall to the ground. In a Nov. 19, 1978, battle with the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants held a 17-12 lead and were running out the clock when things went haywire. Quarterback Joe Pisarcik tried to hand the ball off to Larry Csonka with 30 seconds left, but the two men botched the exchange and Jets defensive back Herm Edwards picked it up and raced 26 yards for the winning score.

9 of 40Jackie Smith drops the ball
Jackie Smith drops the ball
Focus On Sport / Contributor
After a long run with the St. Louis Cardinals, tight end Jackie Smith played out his final season with the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas met the Steelers in Super Bowl XIII, and with the Cowboys down 21-14 in the third quarter, he was all alone in the end zone for an easy touchdown catch that would have tied the game. One problem: The future Hall-of-Famer dropped the ball. Verne Lundquist, take it away.

10 of 40Officials miss Mike Renfro’s touchdown, Steelers escape Oilers
Officials miss Mike Renfro’s touchdown, Steelers escape Oilers
Bob Harmeyer / Contributor
The 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers won their fourth Super Bowl in six seasons to cap off an incredible dynastic run, but they easily could have lost the AFC championship game had officials made the correct call. Houston trailed, 17-10, in the third quarter, when quarterback Dan Pastorini hooked up with Mike Renfro for what appeared to be a game-tying touchdown in the corner of the end zone. After some discussion, they ruled that Renfro did not get both feet down despite replays showing that he did. Houston settled for a field goal and ended up losing, 27-13.

11 of 40Fred Brown passes to the wrong team
Fred Brown passes to the wrong team
Wally McNamee / Contributor
The 1982 men’s basketball national championship game between North Carolina and Georgetown is most known for Michael Jordan’s winning shot, but it should be mentioned that said basket was made with 17 seconds remaining. Georgetown pushed the ball back up the court, but Brown threw a pass directly to the Tar Heels’ James Worthy, who was then fouled. Though Worthy missed both free throws, the Hoyas had just two seconds remaining, and their desperation shot was off the mark.

12 of 40The band is out on the field
The band is out on the field
Robert Stinnett / Associated Press.
It’s one of the most famous plays in sports history, as well as one of the most unlikely, but it’s worth mentioning that the Stanford band coming out on the field too early in the 1982 Big Game, while a completely surreal moment, was also an unfathomable blunder that allowed Cal to score an improbable game-winning touchdown. Two of Cal’s laterals are still disputed to this day, but really, all of this is just an excuse to bask in one of the most astonishing moments in sports history.

13 of 40T.C. Chen double hits his way to U.S. Open dismay
T.C. Chen double hits his way to U.S. Open dismay
PGA TOUR Archive / Contributor
Four holes into the final round of the 1985 U.S. Open, T.C. Chen looked well on his way to a shocking victory. He was up four strokes when he got into trouble on the fifth. Chen found the trees with his approach to a par-4, left his third shot short, and then double-hit the ball when trying to hit his fourth shot on. He ended up with a quadruple-bogey and finished second to Andy North by one stroke.

14 of 40 Don Denkinger’s blown call upends the World Series
Don Denkinger’s blown call upends the World Series
Bettmann / Contributor
The St. Louis Cardinals were up 3-2 in the 1985 World Series and held a 1-0 advantage heading to the bottom of the ninth. Kansas City’s Jorge Orta led off the inning by bouncing a pitch just past the mound on the first base side. The throw to pitcher Todd Worrell, covering the bag, beat Orta by a full step, but first-base umpire Don Denkinger ruled him safe. That play started a rally that led to a Dane Iorg two-run single that won the game and kept Kansas City alive. The Royals went on to crush St. Louis, 11-0, in Game 7. Denkinger, unfortunately, was subject to hate mail and death threats in the aftermath.

15 of 40 Bill Buckner hands the Mets Game 6 of the 1986 World Series
Bill Buckner hands the Mets Game 6 of the 1986 World Series
Boston Globe / Contributor
Buckner should be remembered as one of the most underrated players in recent MLB history. He finished his career with a .289 average, 2,715 hits and the 1980 National League batting title. Instead, his name will live in infamy for a blunder that cost the Red Sox Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Boston had already surrendered a 10th-inning lead to the Mets, and the game was tied when Mookie Wilson hit a two-out dribbler up the first-base line. Buckner, who had a very solid defensive reputation, had the grounder go right through his legs, allowing Ray Knight to score the winning run.

16 of 40 Scott Hoch’s missed gimme costs him the Masters
Scott Hoch’s missed gimme costs him the Masters
David Cannon / Contributor
Doug Sanders missed a 3-footer that cost him the Open Championship in 1970, and nearly 20 years later, Scott Hoch one-upped him (one-downed him?) at the 1989 Masters. Hoch needed only to make a two-foot putt on the 10th hole to win the tournament in a playoff, but blew it past the left edge of the hole, opening the door for Nick Faldo to win. Before you feel too bad for Hoch, know that he once called St. Andrews “the worst piece of mess” he had ever seen and in 1989 was voted as the tour’s least popular golfer by his fellow pros.

17 of 40Colorado beats Missouri on fifth down
Colorado beats Missouri on fifth down
Keith Simonsen / Contributor
The 1990 Colorado Buffaloes won a share of the national championship after an 11-1-1 season, but Missouri fans understandably feel that championship is fraudulent. Missouri held a 31-27 lead, but Colorado was driving near the Missouri goal line when, after a second-down play, the chain gang failed to properly change downs. Thus, when teh Buffaloes ran their third-down play and failed to score, they spiked the ball on what was actually fourth down. On “fifth” down, Colorado quarterback Charles Johnson plunged in for the winning score. The officials realized the mistake but allowed the play to stand, giving Colorado the victory. Missouri fans tore down the goalposts in anger.

18 of 40Leon Lett celebrates too soon
Leon Lett celebrates too soon
Gin Ellis / Contributor
Poor Leon. Before his second-biggest on-field debacle, there was his even more infamous contribution to sports history. With Dallas putting the finishing touches on a 52-17 victory in Super Bowl XXVII, Lett scooped up a fumble and rumbled toward the end zone. He decided to do a little showboating, slowing down and holding the ball out at his side. Bad idea. Buffalo’s Don Beebe chased him down and knocked the ball loose just before Lett crossed the goal line, making himself an example of never-give-up hustle that would be used by youth sports coaches for years. Lett? Let’s just say everyone had a good laugh at his expense.

19 of 40 Chris Webber calls a timeout he didn’t have
Chris Webber calls a timeout he didn’t have
NCAA Photos / Contributor
Chris Webber was a great NBA player. Webber was one of the league’s best power forwards — a great playmaker, passer and scorer — and the linchpin of the early-2000s Sacramento Kings, one of the most fun groups in basketball history. He also cost Michigan a chance at the 1993 national championship by calling a timeout that the Wolverines didn’t have. Michigan trailed, 73-71, to North Carolina with 15 seconds left. Webber got away with a blatant travel when bringing the ball up the court and then tried to call a timeout when trapped in the corner, which resulted in a technical foul, burying any chance the Wolverines had of winning the game.

20 of 40 Jose Canseco creates a homer – with his head
Jose Canseco creates a homer – with his head
Ron Kuntz Collection / Contributor
Jose Canseco’s 1993 season was limited to just 60 games. It was a down year for the then-Rangers outfielder, who finished the year with a mere .763 OPS, well below his normal production for the time. Still, no statistic was as embarrassing as his most famous misadventure while playing right field. On May 26, with the Rangers in Cleveland to take on the Indians, Canseco drifted back to catch a long fly ball by Carlos Martinez and…didn’t make the catch.

21 of 40Leon Lett slips and slides to infamy in the snow
Leon Lett slips and slides to infamy in the snow
PAUL K BUCK / Staff
For someone who was part of so much team success — he was a valuable member of three Super Bowl teams — Leon Lett certainly found a way to make his share of high-profile blunders. One of his two most infamous happened on Thanksgiving Day in 1993, when the Cowboys tangled with the Dolphins at a surreal, snow-covered Texas Stadium. With Dallas up 14-13 in the waning seconds, Miami lined up for a potential game-winning field goal. Dallas blocked the attempt, but, well, words fail to adequately describe what happened next.

22 of 40 Derek Jeter flies out to right field for a home run
Derek Jeter flies out to right field for a home run
TIMOTHY CLARY / Staff
The New York Yankees trailed the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 in Game 1 of the 1996 American League Championship Series when Derek Jeter stepped to the plate with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jeter hit a deep fly ball to right field, and though his back was at the wall, Baltimore’s Tony Tarasco appeared to have room to make a standing catch. However, 12-year-old Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier reached over the wall and caught the ball in his glove. Despite Baltimore’s protests, umpire Rich Garcia ruled the play a home run, and the Yankees won the game 5-4 in extra innings, and the series in five games.

23 of 40 Mike Tyson takes a bite out of Evander Holyfield
Mike Tyson takes a bite out of Evander Holyfield
JEFF HAYNES / Contributor
After Evander Holyfield scored a shocking, yet dominating upset in their first fight, Mike Tyson was out for revenge, and apparently blood, in their June 28, 1997 rematch. Tyson, frustrated by Holyfield’s roughhouse tactics, eventually snapped and bit the heavyweight champion late in the third round. Referee Mills Lane kept the fight going after lengthy deliberation, but when Tyson bit Holyfield again, and Mills discovered it, the fight was stopped, and Holyfield declared the winner by disqualification.

24 of 40Brett Hull wins Stanley Cup with “illegal” goal
Brett Hull wins Stanley Cup with “illegal” goal
Joe Traver / Contributor
See Brett Hull right there? He’s about to score the Stanley Cup-winning goal in the third overtime of Game 6 of the 1999 Stanley Cup Final. One problem: Many people (most of them Sabres fans) felt that the goal should not have counted, as Hull’s skate was in the crease prior to his scoring the goal, which was thought to be illegal. However, the league had circulated a private memo — available only to its member teams — that made clear that such a play was legal if the player was in control of the puck. So does Hull not deserve to have his big moment sullied? Watch for yourself and decide.

25 of 40Jan Van de Velde melts down at Open Championship
Jan Van de Velde melts down at Open Championship
R&A Championships / Contributor
Van de Velde, a little-known French pro, was on the cusp of a shocking Open Championship victory at Carnoustie in 1999 when the wheels completely came off on the 18th hole. Van de Velde needed just a double-bogey on the 18th to secure victory. He made triple bogey instead and ended up losing in a three-way playoff. Words don’t do justice to his meltdown, which is genuinely difficult to watch.

26 of 40The Tuck Rule
The Tuck Rule
MATT CAMPBELL / Stringer
I’m not going to try to explain the nuances of the Tuck Rule, nor am I going to judge whether it was properly applied in this particular circumstance. I’ll allow the video to speak for itself. It’s likely that the Patriots still would have ended up being great had this play not gone their way, but it’s inarguable that they would have one less Super Bowl in their trophy case. And a Raiders team that bounced back from this Jan. 19, 2002, divisional round loss to make it to the Super Bowl the following season might have one more.

27 of 40Steve Bartman goes for a ball, takes blame
Steve Bartman goes for a ball, takes blame
Elsa / Staff
You know the story. 2003 National League championship series. Chicago Cubs up three games to two on the Florida Marlins. The Cubs were up 3-0 with one out in the eighth inning when Cheap Luis Castillo Jersey hit a fly ball into foul territory down the left field line. Chicago’s Moises Alou seemed to have a play on it, but Bartman reached up to try and catch the ball, knocking it away and drawing an enraged reaction from Alou. The Marlins went on to score eight runs in the inning, win the game, and win the series — and eventually, the World Series. Bartman’s life was effectively ruined. I am contractually obligated to remind you that Cubs infielder Alex Gonzalez booted a routine double-play ball shortly thereafter that would have gotten the Cubs out of the inning more or less unscathed.

28 of 40 Tony Romo muffs the hold
Tony Romo muffs the hold
Jed Jacobsohn / Staff
The Cowboys looked ready to win their first playoff game in 10 years. All they needed was a 19-yard field goal from Martin Gramatica that would have given them a 23-21 lead over the Seattle Seahawks in their January 2007 playoff matchup. What they got was a mishandled snap by Tony Romo, a desperate dash for a first down or the goal line, and a shoestring tackle that ended their season. Romo went on to have a fine career with the Cowboys, but this blunder still gets replayed today, for good reason.

29 of 40Armando Galarraga’s imperfect perfect game
Armando Galarraga’s imperfect perfect game
Bill Eisner/Detroit Tigers / Contributor
On June 2, 2010, Detroit’s Armando Galarraga threw a perfect game against the Cleveland Indians, except history will forever view it as a one-hit shutout. With Cleveland down to its last out, Jason Donald hit a grounder between first and second base that Miguel Cabrera fielded and threw to Galarraga, who was covering first. Donald was out by a full step, but first base umpire Jim Joyce called him safe. Galarraga retired the next batter, in essence having recorded a 28-out perfect game. One positive? Galarraga’s handling of the situation has become a model of good sportsmanship.

30 of 40 Nasir Robinson’s foul gifts Butler a win
Nasir Robinson’s foul gifts Butler a win
Rob Carr / Staff
NCAA Tournament heartbreak and the Pitt Panthers just go together, or at least they did in the program’s 2008-2012 heyday. Jamie Dixon’s 2011 Panthers were two years removed from heartbreak at the hand of Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds when they again secured a No. 1 seed in the tourney, only to face 2010 finalist Butler in the second round. The teams played an entertaining back-and-forth game, and after an incredibly careless Shelvin Mack foul near half court, Pitt had a chance to win the game with two Gilbert Brown foul shots. Brown made the first but missed the second, and forward Nasir Robinson made Mack’s foul look harmless by comparison when he went over the back on Matt Howard, who made the first of two free throws to win the game.

31 of 40 Buster Posey gets hurt, baseball changes a rule
Buster Posey gets hurt, baseball changes a rule
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images / Contributor
Buster Posey was already one of baseball’s biggest stars by 2011. The Giants catcher was a World Series champion, but in 2011, he and the Giants’ season were derailed by a gruesome leg injury suffered in a May 25 game against the Marlins. The game was tied 6-6 in the top of the 12th when Florida’s Scott Cousins tried to score from home on a flyout to short right-center field. Cousins crashed into Posey, whose leg bent awkwardly and broke as a result. Posey’s injury eventually caused baseball to take drastic measures to reduce the chance of home plate collisions, much to the chagrin of fans and many players, who felt the new rules were vague and made it nearly impossible to play catcher.

32 of 40Jerry Meals says it’s safe
Jerry Meals says it’s safe
Scott Cunningham / Stringer
The 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates, though their winning ways were starting to slow down, were still a surprising 53-47 when they took on the Atlanta Braves on July 26. With the score tied at 3 and two outs the bottom of the 19 th inning (the longest in Pirates history in elapsed time), Atlanta’s Scott Proctor hit a bouncer to third, and Julio Lugo was tagged out by Michael McKenry several feet in front of home plate. Umpire Jerry Meals ruled him safe, and with no replay to overturn the play, the Braves won. The Pirates went 8-22 over the next month.

33 of 40The Fail Mary
The Fail Mary
Otto Greule Jr / Stringer
The NFL and its officials were in the middle of a labor dispute at the outset of the 2012 season. That dispute was resolved largely because of the embarrassing performance by replacement officials in the Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers “Monday Night Football” matchup on Sept. 24. With the Seahawks trailing 12-7, Russell Wilson heaved up a Hail Mary on the game’s final play, and the officials ruled that wide receiver Golden Tate had caught the pass, despite video evidence that if anything, the ball had been clearly intercepted, and Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference. It remains to this day as one of the worst officiating blunders in recent NFL history.

34 of 40The Butt Fumble
The Butt Fumble
Icon Sports Wire / Contributor
Not every infamous play changes the course of history. Some are just plain funny. The year was 2012, and it was Thanksgiving night when the Jets and Mark Sanchez took on hated rival New England. The Jets were already down 14-0 when Sanchez did this. New York lost, 49-19, by the way.

35 of 40 Dez Bryant’s catch that wasn’t
Dez Bryant’s catch that wasn’t
Rob Carr / Staff
The Dallas Cowboys faced a fourth-and-2 and a 26-21 deficit with just under five minutes remaining in their Jan. 13, 2015 playoff battle with the Green Bay Packers. Tony Romo went for it all, and Dez Bryant shocked the Lambeau Field crowd with an acrobatic catch that put the Cowboys at the 1-yard line. However, the play was overturned and ruled incomplete. To this day, I can’t explain why that would be, so watch the video and see what you think.

36 of 40The Seahawks pass their way to a Super Bowl loss
The Seahawks pass their way to a Super Bowl loss
Focus On Sport / Contributor
Down 28-24 to New England with 25 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIX, the Seattle Seahawks were in good shape. They had second-and-goal from the 1-yard-line and one of the best power backs in the NFL in Marshawn Lynch. Naturally, they chose to pass the ball, and paid dearly for it. Seattle fans, why don’t you just skip this one?

37 of 40 Jesse James’ catch that also wasn’t
Jesse James’ catch that also wasn’t
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Hey, remember the Dez Bryant play? It happened to Pittsburgh’s Jesse James too. Except it wasn’t a playoff game, and it was in 2017 against the New England Patriots. Everything else about it, including the inane interpretation of the rules, was essentially the same. Like Dallas, Pittsburgh lost the game as well as a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.

38 of 40 J.R. Smith forgets the score
J.R. Smith forgets the score
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
We all have that one friend who is fun to be around but just a bit absent-minded, right? J.R. Smith is that friend, except he was an extremely talented, streaky NBA player. Perhaps the Cavaliers had no chance anyway against a juggernaut Warriors team in the 2018 NBA Finals. Perhaps they’d have lost just as easily. Still, Smith’s blunder was an all-timer. The game was tied at 107 with seconds to go, and George Hill missed a go-ahead foul shot. Smith got the rebound but instead of going for a put-back or passing to a teammate, he attempted to dribble out the clock, thinking Cleveland was ahead. The game was tied, and the Cavs lost in overtime.

39 of 40Nickell Robey-Coleman gets away with it
Nickell Robey-Coleman gets away with it
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The play spawned one of the worst, most ineffective rule changes in history, one that lasted just a season, but while making pass interferences challengeable plays was a terrible idea, the no-call that kept the Saints out of Super Bowl LIII was even worse. With the score tied at 20 and less than two minutes to go, Los Angeles’ Nickell Robey-Coleman hammered New Orleans’ Tommylee Lewis well before the ball got to him on a third-and-10 play. No flag was thrown, however, and instead of being able to run down the clock for a chip-shot game-winning field goal, New Orleans had to kick with plenty of time left. The Rams tied the game in regulation and went on to win in overtime.

40 of 40 Cody Eakin’s controversial major penalty spurs unlikely Sharks comeback
Cody Eakin’s controversial major penalty spurs unlikely Sharks comeback
Brandon Magnus / Contributor
The Vegas Golden Knights were cruising in Game 7 of their 2019 first-round playoff series, up 3-0 on the San Jose Sharks with just over 10 minutes left in the game. Vegas’ Cody Eakin cross-checked San Jose’s Joe Pavelski, and Pavelski fell awkwardly and bled from his head, which drew a controversial five-minute major, since the play seemed innocuous until Pavelski failed to get up. San Jose scored four goals on the power play to take the lead, and while Vegas tied the game late in regulation, the Sharks ended up getting the victory in overtime.