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All-Time Teams: Los Angeles Chargers



Introduction

In my endless research of all things football and through my passion for the history of the NFL, I have decided to try and compile an All-Time Team for all 32 current NFL franchises. By All-Time Team I mean a starting roster compiled of the very best players to ever put on each franchise’s jersey. I will be starting in alphabetical order by current franchise location, so Arizona Cardinals all the way to The Washington Football Team, with the goal of releasing one to two All-Time teams a week for the duration of the current NFL season. This is meant to be fun and cause some debate and is based on my opinion after all my research and deep dives into each franchise’s history. Of course, not everyone will agree with who I chose, and I’d love to hear from anyone who agrees or disagrees, but first, let’s lay out some ground rules for how I came up with each team.


1. Each team roster will consist of the following:

Offense - 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT, 2 OG, 1 C

Defense - 2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S

Special Teams - 1 K, 1 P, 1 Returner

Coach - 1 Head Coach


2. I only considered an individual’s stats and contributions with each specific franchise. For example, Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos were not considered when deciding on the starting QB of the Colts All-Time Team. As a result, the stats and awards listed with each individual player are only those that were achieved with that specific franchise.


3. A player cannot represent two teams as the starter. Players who spent time with more than one team were considered for the franchise they spent the most time with or had the most impact on. This rule led to some interesting scenarios that I will discuss in detail with each specific article to try and clear up any confusion.


4. A player’s stats and impact were considered in context with their era. This won’t simply be a listing of who passed or ran for the most yards in franchise history.


5. All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference and through the 2021 season. I will also be counting sacks from 1960, though the NFL doesn't officially count sacks until 1982.


6. Players in the "Honorable Mentions" section are ordered by year. It's not an indication of where I believe they rank in franchise history.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!


Los Angeles Chargers All-Time Team


Franchise Information

First Season: 1960

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (1960)

  2. San Diego Chargers (1961-2016)

  3. Los Angeles Chargers (2017-Present)

Record: 468-470-11 (49.89 W-L%)

Playoff Record: 12-18

Super Bowls Won: 0 (Lost in 1994)

AFL Championships Won: 1 (1963) (Lost in 1960, 1961, 1964 and 1965)

Passing Leader: Phillip Rivers 4,908/7,591 | 59,271 Yds | 397 TD

Rushing Leader: LaDainian Tomlinson 2,880 Att | 12,490 Yds | 138 TD

Receiving Leader: Antonio Gates 955 Rec | 11,841 Yds | 116 TD

Sack Leader: Leslie O'Neal 105.5 Sk

Interception Leader: Gill Byrd 42 Int

Scoring Leader: John Carney 1,076 Points

Winningest Coach: Sid Gillman 86-53-6


QB: Dan Fouts (1973-1987)

Record: 86-84-1 | 58.8 Cmp% | 43,040 Yds | 254 TD | 242 Int | 476 Rush Yds | 13 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 1980 and 1981 (348, 360) | Led League in Cmp% 1979 (62.6%) | Led League in Yds 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982 (4,082, 4,715, 4,802, 2,883) | Led League in TD 1981 and 1982 (33, 17) | Led League in Yds/A 1978, 1982 and 1985 (7.9, 8.7, 8.5) | Led League in Yds/G 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985 (255.1, 294.7, 300.1, 320.3, 297.5, 259.9) | 6x Pro-Bowl (79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 85) | 2x All-Pro (79, 82) | 1982 Offensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1993


You may have been expecting to see Philip Rivers in this spot, but I think the best quarterback in Chargers history is still easily Dan Fouts. In the context of their respective eras, Fouts clearly has the edge. He led the league in completions twice, completion percentage once, yards four times, touchdowns twice, yards per attempt three times and yards per game six times. Rivers did lead the league in completions, completion percentage, yards, touchdowns, yards per game and quarterback rating once each, as well as leading the league in yards per attempt three times, so he was no slouch, but Fouts was clearly better for his era. Fouts was also named to six Pro-Bowls, two All-Pro Teams and named the 1982 Offensive Player of the Year, as well as being a member of the Hall of Fame All-1980s Team. At retirement, Fouts ranked 2nd all time in completions, 2nd all time in yards and fourth all time in touchdowns. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jack Kemp (1960-1962) | Record: 22-6 | 47.7 Cmp% | 5,996 Yds | 37 TD | 49 Int | 371 Rush Yds | 15 Rush TD | Led League in Yds/A 1960 (7.4) | 2x Pro-Bowl (61, 62) | 1x All-Pro (60) | 1960 and 1961 AFL Championship Appearance

  2. John Hadl (1962-1972) | Record: 59-54-9 | 50.1 Cmp% | 26,938 Yds | 201 TD | 211 Int | 1,013 Rush Yds | 15 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 1968 and 1971 (208, 233) | Led League in Yds 1965, 1968 and 1971 (2,798, 3,473, 3,075) | Led League in TD 1968 and 1971 (27, 21) | Led League in Yds/A 1965 (8) | Led League in Yds/G 1965 and 1971 (199.9, 219.6) | 5x Pro-Bowl (64, 65, 68, 69, 72) | 1971 Walter Payton Man of the Year | 1963 AFL Champion | 1964 and 1965 AFL Championship Appearance

  3. Tobin Rote (1963-1964) | Record: 13-6-1 | 54.3 Cmp% | 3,666 Yds | 29 TD | 32 Int | 50 Rush Yds | 2 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp% 1963 (59.4%) | Led League in Yds/A 1963 (8.8) | Led League in QB Rating 1963 (86.7) | 1x Pro-Bowl (63) | 1x All-Pro (63) | 1963 AFL MVP | 1963 AFL Champion | 1964 AFL Championship Appearance

  4. Stan Humphries (1992-1997) | Record: 47-29 | 56.8 Cmp% | 16,085 Yds | 85 TD | 73 Int | 240 Rush Yds | 5 Rush TD | 1994 AFC Champion

  5. Drew Brees (2001-2005) | Record: 30-28 | 62.2 Cmp% | 12,348 Yds | 80 TD | 53 Int | 366 Rush Yds | 4 Rush TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (04) | 2004 Comeback Player of the Year

  6. Philip Rivers (2004-2019) | Record: 123-101 | 64.7 Cmp% | 59,271 Yds | 397 TD | 198 Int | 609 Rush Yds | 3 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 2015 (437) | Led League in Cmp% 2013 (69.5%) | Led League in Yds 2010 (4,710) | Led League in TD 2008 (34) | Led League in Yds/A 2008, 2009 and 2010 (8.4, 8.8, 8.7) | Led League in Yds/G 2010 (294.4) | Led League in QB Rating 2008 (105.5) | 8x Pro-Bowl (06, 09, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17, 18) | 2013 Comeback Player of the Year


RB: LaDainian Tomlinson (2001-2009)

4.3 Yds/A | 12,490 Yds | 138 TD | 530 Rec | 3,955 Rec Yds | 15 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 2006 and 2007 (1,815, 1,474) | Led League in TD 2004, 2006 and 2007 (17, 28, 15) | Led League in Yds/G 2006 (113.4) | Led League in YScm 2003 (2,370) | Led League in RRTD 2006 (31) | 5x Pro-Bowl (02, 04, 05, 06, 07) | 3x All-Pro (04, 06, 07) | 2006 MVP | 2006 Offensive Player of the Year | 2006 Bert Bell | 2006 Walter Payton Man of the Year | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2017


No surprise here, LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the greatest running backs to ever live. He Led the league in yards twice, touchdowns three times, yards per game once, yards from scrimmage once and rushing and receiving touchdowns once as well. In his first eight seasons, he had at least 1,100 yards rushing, and five times he had over 1,400 yards. Tomlinson had at least 10 touchdowns in all nine of his seasons in San Diego, including an NFL record 28 in 2006. He was named to five Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams and was named the 2006 MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Bert Bell Player of the Year and the Walter Payton Man of the Year. His 2006 season is arguably the greatest ever for a running back as he had 1,815 rushing yards, 28 touchdowns and an NFL record 31 total touchdowns. It's not uncommon for the league leader in total touchdowns to be less than half that, so it's not likely we'll ever see a season like that again. A quick side note, in Tomlinson should probably have more Pro-Bowls to his name, as he was often snubbed for some reason. Most notably in 2003, Tomlinson had 1,645 yards rushing, 13 rushing touchdowns, 100 receptions, 725 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. His 2,370 yards from scrimmage led the league and was the second most in NFL history at the time, but he didn't make the Pro-Bowl. Ridiculous. He was also snubbed by the NFL 100 Team, but I digress. Tomlinson is still an all-time great and was named to the Hall of Fame All-2000s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.


RB: Paul Lowe (1960-1968)

4.9 Yds/A | 4,972 Yds | 38 TD | 111 Rec | 1,045 Rec Yds | 7 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 1965 (1,121) | Led League in TD 1961 and 1965 (9, 6) | Led League in Yds/A 1960 and 1965 (6.3, 5.0) | Led League in Yds/G 1965 (80.1) | 2x Pro-Bowl (63, 65) | 2x All-Pro (60, 65) | AFL All-1960s Team


After LaDainian Tomlinson, we come to the first great running back in franchise history, Paul Lowe. Lowe was one of the best running backs in AFL history. He led the league in rushing yards once and twice went over 1,000 yards. He also led the league in rushing touchdowns twice, yards per attempt twice and yards per game once. Lowe was named to the Pro-Bowl in 1963 and 1965 and the All-Pro Team in both 1960 and 1965. He was named to the AFL All-1960s Team upon completion of the decade. After over 60 years, he still ranks second in rushing yards in franchise history and third in rushing touchdowns.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Keith Lincoln (1961-1966, 1968) | 4.7 Yds/A | 2,698 Yds | 15 TD | 123 Rec | 1,689 Rec Yds | 14 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/A 1963 (6.5) | Led League in Yds/Tch 1963 and 1965 (7.6, 7.0) | 4x Pro-Bowl (62, 63, 64, 65) | 2x All-Pro (63, 64)

  2. Dickie Post (1967-1970) | 4.4 Yds/A | 2,519 Yds | 17 TD | 87 Rec | 791 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 1969 (873) | 2x Pro-Bowl (67, 69)

  3. Chuck Muncie (1980-1984) | 4.3 Yds/A | 3,309 Yds | 43 TD | 138 Rec | 1,237 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | Led League in TD 1981 (19) | Led League in RRTD 1981 (19) | 2x Pro-Bowl (81, 82)

  4. Gary Anderson (1985-1988) | 4.1 Yds/A | 2,250 Yds | 11 TD | 194 Rec | 1,978 Rec Yds | 12 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (86)

  5. Marion Butts (1989-1993) | 4.2 Yds/A | 4,297 Yds | 31 TD | 57 Rec | 407 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/G 1990 (87.5) | 2x Pro-Bowl (90, 91)

  6. Ronnie Harmon (1990-1995) | 4.9 Yds/A | 1,639 Yds | 6 TD | 378 Rec | 3,939 Rec Yds | 12 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (92)

  7. Natrone Means (1993-1995, 1998-1999) | 3.8 Yds/A | 3,885 Yds | 34 TD | 81 Rec | 482 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (94)

  8. Lorenzo Neal (2003-2007) | 3.5 Yds/A | 363 Yds | 2 TD | 78 Rec | 379 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (05, 06, 07) | 2x All-Pro (06, 07) | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team

  9. Ryan Mathews (2010-2014) | 4.4 Yds/A | 4,061 Yds | 23 TD | 146 Rec | 1,110 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (11)

  10. Melvin Gordon (2015-2019) | 4.0 Yds/A | 4,240 Yds | 36 TD | 224 Rec | 1,873 Rec Yds | 11 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (16, 18)

  11. Austin Ekeler (2017-Present) | 4.6 Yds/A | 2,812 Yds | 21 TD | 282 Rec | 2,726 Rec Yds | 24 Rec TD | Led League in RRTD 2021 (20)


WR: Lance Alworth (1962-1970)

493 Rec | 9,584 Yds | 81 TD | Led League in Rec 1966, 1968 and 1969 (73, 68, 64) | Led League in Yds 1965, 1966 and 1968 (1,602, 1,383, 1,312) | Led League in Yds/Rec 1965 (23.2) | Led League in TD 1964, 1965 and 1966 (13, 14, 13) | Led League in Yds/G 1965 and 1966 (114.4, 106.4) | Led League in RRTD 1964, 1965 and 1966 (15, 14, 13) | Led League in YScm 1965 and 1968 (1,590, 1,330) | 7x Pro-Bowl (63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69) | 6x All-Pro (63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68) | AFL All-1960s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1978


First up at wide receiver is the great Lance Alworth. Alworth is one of the greatest receivers in pro football history. He led the league in receptions three times, yards three times, yards per game twice, touchdowns three times, rushing and receiving touchdowns three times and yards from scrimmage twice. Seven different seasons Alworth had at least 1,000 yards and that's during 14-game seasons. At retirement, Alworth ranked fourth in receptions, second in yards and third in touchdowns in NFL history. He was voted to seven straight Pro-Bowls from 1963-1969 and six straight All-Pro Teams from 1963-1968. Alworth was named to the AFL All-1960s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.


WR: Charlie Joiner (1976-1986)

586 Rec | 9,203 Yds | 47 TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (76, 79, 80) | 1x All-Pro (80) | Hall of Fame Class 1996


Next up is fellow Hall of Famer, Charlie Joiner. Joiner was a model for consistency throughout his 19-year career, 11 of which he spent in San Diego. He went over 1,000 yards in four different seasons and was second in franchise history in yards upon retirement. Joiner caught more passes for more yards than anyone in NFL history when he retired in 1986. He was named to the Pro-Bowl in 1976, 1979 and 1980 and the All-Pro Team in 1980. Joiner was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.

WR: Keenan Allen (2013-Present)

730 Rec | 8,535 Yds | 48 TD | 5x Pro-Bowl (17, 18, 19, 20, 21) | 2017 Comeback Player of the Year


This third spot at wide receiver could have been filled by a few other players, most notably Gary Garrison, John Jefferson or Wes Chandler. All three of these players had great careers with the Chargers, but none matched the consistency of Keenan Allen. Allen has posted five 1,000-yard seasons and had at least four touchdowns in every season but one. He has been voted to five Pro-Bowls and counting and was named the 2017 Comeback Player of the Year. He will most likely pass everyone in franchise history in receiving yards not named Antonio Gates.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Don Norton (1960-1966) | 228 Rec | 3,486 Yds | 27 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (61, 62)

  2. Gary Garrison (1966-1976) | 404 Rec | 7,533 Yds | 58 TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (68, 70, 71, 72)

  3. John Jefferson (1978-1980) | 199 Rec | 3,431 Yds | 36 TD | Led League in Yds 1980 (1,340) | Led League in TD 1978 and 1980 (13, 13) | Led League in Yds/G 1980 (83.8) | 3x Pro-Bowl (78, 79, 80) | 2x All-Pro (79, 80)

  4. Wes Chandler (1982-1987) | 373 Rec | 6,132 Yds | 41 TD | Led League in Yds 1982 (1,032) | Led League in TD 1982 (9) | Led League in Yds/G 1982 (129) | 3x Pro-Bowl (82, 83, 85) | 1x All-Pro (82)

  5. Anthony Miller (1988-1993) | 374 Rec | 5,582 Yds | 37 TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (89, 90, 92)

  6. Tony Martin (1994-1997) | 288 Rec | 4,184 Yds | 33 TD | Led League in TD 1996 (14) | 1x Pro-Bowl (96)

  7. Malcom Floyd (2004-2015) | 321 Rec | 5,550 Yds | 34 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 2011 (19.9)

  8. Vincent Jackson (2005-2011) | 272 Rec | 4,754 Yds | 37 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (09, 11)


TE: Antonio Gates (2003-2018)

955 Rec | 11,841 Yds | 116 TD | 8x Pro-Bowl (04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11) | 3x All-Pro (04, 05, 06) | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team


The franchise leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns, Antonio Gates, is the clear choice at tight end. Kellen Winslow is one of the greatest tight ends to ever live and would surely be the starter on most other All-Time Teams, but Antonio Gates took the position to unforeseen heights. Gates had seven seasons of at least 800 yards and twice went over 1,000 yards. Where he made his biggest impact was the redzone. He had at least seven touchdowns in 11 different seasons and four times had at least 10 touchdowns. His 116 career receiving touchdowns are the most ever by a tight end and he currently sits third in both receptions and yards. Gates was voted to eight straight Pro-Bowls from 2004-2011 and three straight All-Pro Teams from 2004-2006. He was voted also named to the Hall of Fame All-2000s team and will surely one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Oh, and keep in mind he didn't play a down of college football as he only played basketball at Kent State.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Dave Kocourek (1960-1965) | 218 Rec | 3,720 Yds | 21 TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (61, 62, 63, 64) | AFL All-1960s Team

  2. Jacque MacKinnon (1961-1969) | 112 Rec | 2,109 Yds | 20 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (66, 68)

  3. Willie Frazier (1966-1970) | 137 Rec | 2,005 Yds | 21 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (67, 69)

  4. Kellen Winslow (1979-1987) | 541 Rec | 6,741 Yds | 45 TD | Led League in Rec 1980 and 1981 (89, 88) | 5x Pro-Bowl (80, 81, 82, 83, 87) | 3x All-Pro (80, 81, 82) | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1995


OT: Ron Mix (1960-1969)

Started 126 of 130 Games | 8x Pro-Bowl (61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68) | 9x All-Pro (60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68) | AFL All-1960s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1979


Ron Mix is one of the greatest offensive linemen in NFL history, so he's an easy choice here. He started over 120 games with the Chargers, including starting every game in seven seasons. Mix was voted to eight straight Pro-Bowls from 1961-1968 and nine straight All-Pro Teams from 1960-1968. He was named to the AFL All-1960s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.


OT: Russ Washington (1968-1982)

Started 196 of 200 Games | 5x Pro-Bowl (74, 75, 77, 78, 79)


Russ Washington gets the nod at the other offensive tackle position. He played in 200 games with the Chargers, starting 196. He started every game in 10 seasons and was voted to the Pro-Bowl five different times.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Ernie Wright (1960-1967, 1972) | Started 104 of 125 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (61, 63, 65)

  2. Terry Owens (1966-1975) | Started 107 of 132 Games

  3. Billy Shields (1975-1983) | Started 116 of 127 Games

  4. Vaugh Parker (1994-2003) | Started 107 of 121 Games

  5. Marcus McNeil (2006-2011) | Started 82 of 82 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (06, 07)

  6. Jeromey Clary (2007-2013) | Started 93 of 103 Games


OG: Walt Sweeney (1963-1973)

Started 140 of 154 Games | 9x Pro-Bowl (64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72) | 2x All-Pro (67, 68) | AFL All-1960s Team


Walt Sweeney is the first offensive guard for the All-Time Chargers. He's one of those players that I have no idea as to why they're not already in the Hall of Fame. He started 140 games with the Chargers and was named to nine straight Pro-Bowls from 1964-1972. Sweeney was also named to two All-Pro Teams and the AFL All-1960s Team. There are plenty of offensive linemen already in the Hall who don't have a resume like that, so what are the voters waiting on?


OG: Doug Wilkerson (1971-1984)

Started 195 of 195 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (80, 81, 82) | 1x All-Pro (82)


Now we come to Doug Wilkerson. Wilkerson spent 14 seasons in San Diego, started in just under 200 games. He started every game in 12 different seasons and was named to three straight Pro-Bowls from 1980-1982 as well as the 1982 All-Pro Team.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Ed White (1978-1985) | Started 117 of 119 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (79)

  2. Kris Dielman (2003-2011) | Started 97 of 120 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (07, 08, 09, 10)


C: Nick Hardwick (2004-2014)

Started 136 of 136 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (06)


This one may come as a surprise, but Nick Hardwick is the best center in Charger's history. Don Macek is a very close second here, but I give the edge to Hardwick for starting every game in more seasons and making the Pro-Bowl in 2006. Hardwick was a mainstay on the line that blocked for the great LaDainian Tomlinson and that also gives him the edge here.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Sam Gruneisen (1962-1972) | Started 96 of 120 Games

  2. Don Macek (1976-1989) | Started 150 of 162 Games

  3. Courtney Hall (1989-1996) | Started 118 of 118 Games


DE: Leslie O’Neal (1986-1995)

2 Int | 18 FF | 9 FR | 105.5 Sk | 597 Tackles | 6x Pro-Bowl (89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95) | 1986 Defensive Rookie of the Year


First up on the defensive side is the franchise leader in sacks, Leslie O'Neal. O'Neal had at least 12 sacks in seven different seasons with the Chargers, including a career high 17 in 1992. He was voted to six Pro-Bowls and was named the 1986 Defensive Rookie of the Year. He's a borderline Hall of Famer, but he has never seemed to gain enough steam to actually be inducted.


DE: Fred Dean (1975-1981)

1 Int | 11 FR | 52 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (79, 80, 81) | 2x All-Pro (80, 81) | Hall of Fame Class 2008


The other defensive end is the great Fred Dean. Dean spent seven seasons with the Chargers, racking up over 50 sacks. He had at least 10 sacks in two seasons and was named to three straight Pro-Bowls from 1979-1981 and two straight All-Pro Teams from 1980-1981. Dean was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Ron Nery (1960-1962) | 16 Sk | Led League in Sk 1961 (8) | 1x All-Pro (61)

  2. Earl Faison (1961-1966) | 5 Int | 30 Sk | 5x Pro-Bowl (61, 62, 63, 64, 65) | 4x All-Pro (61, 63, 64, 65)

  3. Steve DeLong (1965-1971) | 1 Int | 1 FR | 34.5 Sk | Led League in Sk 1969 (15.5) | 1x Pro-Bowl (69)

  4. Leroy Jones (1976-1983) | 3 Int | 6 FR | 45 Sk

  5. Lee Williams (1984-1990) | 2 Int | 3 FR | 65.5 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (88, 89)

  6. Raylee Johnson (1993-2003) | 2 FF | 4 FR | 46 Sk | 132 Tackles

  7. Melvin Ingram (2012-2020) | 3 Int | 14 FF | 7 FR | 49 Sk | 360 Tackles | 70 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (17, 18, 19)

  8. Joey Bosa (2016-Present) | 12 FF | 3 FR | 58 Sk | 291 Tackles | 73 TFL | 2016 Defensive Rookie of the Year | 4x Pro-Bowl (17, 19, 20, 21)


DT: Gary Johnson (1975-1984)

2 Int | 10 FR | 67.5 Sk | Led League in Sk 1980 (17.5) | 4x Pro-Bowl (79, 80, 81, 82) | 2x All-Pro (80, 81)


Gary Johnson is one of the best interior defensive linemen in NFL history, but he is continually overlooked. Johnson racked up just under 70 sacks with the chargers and three times had at least 10 in a season, including leading the league in 1980 with 17.5. He was voted to four straight Pro-Bowls from 1979-1982 and the All-Pro Team in both 1980 and 1981.


DT: Ernie Ladd (1961-1966)

21.5 Sk | 4x Pro-Bowl (62, 63, 64, 65) | 3x All-Pro (61, 64, 65)


Another forgotten player gets the other defensive tackle position. Ernie Ladd clogged up the middle for the Chargers from 1961-1966. He had over 20 sacks and was named to four straight Pro-Bowls from 1962-1965 and the All-Pro Team in 1961, 1964 and 1965. He was a key member on defense for the great Chargers teams of the 1960s.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Louie Kelcher (1975-1983) | 2 Int | 8 FR | 40 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (77, 78, 80) | 1x All-Pro (78)

  2. John Parrella (1994-2001) | 5 FF | 3 FR | 24.5 Sk | 321 Tackles

  3. Jamal Williams (1998-2009) | 1 Int | 4 FF | 3 FR | 13 Sk | 396 Tackles | 54 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (05, 06, 07) | 2x All-Pro (05, 06)

  4. Corey Liugent (2011-2018) | 5 FF | 6 FR | 24 Sk | 274 Tackles | 59 TFL


LB: Junior Seau (1990-2002)

15 Int | 11 FF | 16 FR | 47 Sk | 1,480 Tackles | 48 TFL | Led League in Solo Tackles 1994 (124) | 12x Pro-Bowl (91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02) | 6x All-Pro (92, 93, 94, 96, 98, 00) | 1994 Walter Payton Man of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 15


Junior Seau was the easiest choice for this whole team. He spent 13 seasons in San Diego and cemented himself as one of the greatest linebackers to ever live. Seau has the third most tackles in NFL history and led the league in solo tackles 1994. He was voted to an absurd 12 straight Pro-Bowls from 1991-2002, as well as six All-Pro Teams. Seau was also named the 1994 Walter Payton Man of the year and selected to the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.


LB: Shawne Merriman (2005-2010)

1 Int | 8 FFF | 4 FR | 43.5 Sk | 232 Tackles | 50 TFL | Led League in Sk 2006 (17) | Led League in TFL 2007 (19) | 3x Pro-Bowl (05, 06, 07) | 1x All-Pro (06) | 2005 Defensive Rookie of the Year


Next up at linebacker is Shawne Merriman. Merriman had a short career in San Diego, but he was dominant. In his first three seasons he had at least 10 sacks, including leading the league in 2006 with 17. He also led the league in tackles for loss in that same 2006 season with 19. Merriman was voted to three straight Pro-Bowls from 2005-2007 and the 2006 All-Pro Team. He was also named the 2005 Defensive Rookie of the Year. It's a shame he wasn't able to stay healthy as he was well on his way to a great career.


LB: Chuck Allen (1961-1969)

20 Int | 2 FR | 1 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (63, 64)


The last starting linebacker for the Chargers is Chuck Allen. Allen was the first great linebacker in franchise history. He was a key member on the defense for a team that made it to four AFL Championship games, winning in 1963. Allen had 20 interceptions in his nine seasons and was named to the Pro-Bowl in 1963 and 1964.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Emil Karas (1960-1966) | 7 Int | 2.5 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (61, 62, 63)

  2. Frank Buncom (1962-1967) | 5 Int | 1 FR | 6 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (64, 65, 67)

  3. Rick Redman (1965-1973) | 9 Int | 5 FR | 4.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (67)

  4. Woodrow Lowe (1976-1986) | 21 Int | 8 FR | 26 Sk

  5. Linden King (1978-1985) | 7 Int | 8 FR | 24 Sk

  6. Billy Ray Smith (1983-1992) | 15 Int | 14 FR | 26.5 Sk

  7. Gary Plummer (1986-1993) | 5 Int | 8 FF | 6 FR | 3.5 Sk | 792 Tackles

  8. Donnie Edwards (2002-2006) | 17 Int | 7 FF | 2 FR | 7 Sk | 740 Tackles | 22 TFL | Led League in Tackles 2004 (152) | 1x Pro-Bowl (02)

  9. Stephen Cooper (2003-2011) | 8 Int | 8 FF | 5 FR | 9.5 Sk | 503 Tackles | 17 TFL

  10. Shaun Phillips (2004-2012) | 6 Int | 20 FF | 10 FR | 69.5 Sk | 477 Tackles | 80 TFL | Led League in FF 2009 (7) | 1x Pro-Bowl (10)


CB: Gill Byrd (1983-1992)

42 Int | 4 FR | 2x Pro-Bowl (91, 92)


Gill Byrd is the franchise leader in interceptions, so naturally he's the first cornerback here. Byrd had at least four interceptions in seven seasons, including a career high seven in three straight seasons from 1988-1990. He surprisingly only made two Pro-Bowls, coming in his final two seasons.


CB: Dick Harris (1960-1965)

29 Int | 1x Pro-Bowl (61) | 1x All-Pro (60, 61)


This spot was a hard choice to make. Antonio Cromartie had the best single season with the Chargers, but that's really his only impactful year with the team. So, for me that leaves the choice to be between Dick Harris and Speedy Duncan. I'm taking Dick Harris's 29 interceptions in six seasons over Duncan's 21 in seven seasons. Harris was also named to the 1961 Pro-Bowl and both the 1960 and 1961 All-Pro Teams.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Speedy Duncan (1964-1970) | 21 Int | 2 FR | 3x Pro-Bowl (65, 66, 67)

  2. Joe Beauchamp (1966-1975) | 23 Int | 6 FR

  3. Bob Howard (1967-1974) | 21 Int | 9 FR

  4. Mike Williams (1975-1982) | 24 Int | 6 FR

  5. Quentin Jammer (2002-2012) | 21 Int | 7 FF | 9 FR | 721 Tackles | 11 TFL

  6. Antonio Cromartie (2006-2009) | 15 Int | 2 FR | 165 Tackles | Led League in Int 2007 (10) | 1x Pro-Bowl (07) | 1x All-Pro (07)

  7. Casey Hayward (2016-2020) | 14 Int | 1 FF | 2 FR | 217 Tackles | 4 TFL | Led League in Int 2016 (7) | 2x Pro-Bowl (16, 17)


S: Eric Weddle (2007-2015)

19 Int | 5 FF | 6 FR | 6.5 Sk | 851 Tackles | 32 TFL | Led League in Int 2011 (7) | 3x Pro-Bowl (11, 13, 14) | 2x All-Pro (11, 14) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Eric Weddle is the clear choice at safety for the Chargers. He was one of the best safeties in the league year in and year out. He led the league in interceptions in 2011 with seven and was named to three Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams. Weddle was also named to the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team and has an outside shot to one day make the Hall of Fame.


S: Rodney Harrison (1994-2002)

26 Int | 8 FF | 7 FR | 21.5 Sk | 760 Tackles | 22 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (98, 01) | 1x All-Pro (98)


The final member of the Chargers secondary is the great Rodney Harrison. Harrison seems to be on the cusp of making it to the Hall of Fame every year, so at this point it is just a matter of time. He teamed up with Junior Seau to make one of the better defensive duos of the 1990s and was named to two Pro-Bowls and the 1998 All-Pro Team. Harrison had seven seasons in San Diego with multiple interceptions and five times he had over 100 tackles. Kenny Graham was a close second for this spot as well.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Charlie McNeil (1960-1964) | 19 Int | 1x Pro-Bowl (61) | 1x All-Pro (61)

  2. Kenny Graham (1964-1969) | 25 Int | 5 FR | 1 Sk | 4x Pro-Bowl (65, 67, 68, 69) | 1x All-Pro (66) | AFL All-1960s Team

  3. Adrian Phillips (2014-2019) | 5 Int | 2 FF | 251 Tackles | 9 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (18) | 1x All-Pro (18)


K: John Carney (1990-2000)

81.6 FG% | 54 Long | 1,076 Points | Led League in Points 1994 (135) | Led League in FGM 1994 (34) | 1x Pro-Bowl (94) | 1x All-Pro (94)


The franchise leader in points, John Carney is the starter at kicker. He spent 11 seasons in San Diego, making over 80% of his field goal attempts. In the only year that the Chargers have ever made the Super Bowl, 1994, Carney led the league in points and field goals made and was voted to both the Pro-Bowl and the All-Pro Team.


Honorable Mentions

  1. George Blair (1961-1964) | 62.5 FG% | 44 Long | 272 Points | Led League in FG% 1962 and 1963 (85%, 60.7%) | 1x Pro-Bowl (61)

  2. Rolf Benirschke (1977-1986) | 70.2 FG% | 53 Long | 766 Points | 1x Pro-Bowl (82)

  3. Nate Kaeding (2004-2012) | 87 FG% | 57 Long | 889 Points | Led League in Points 2009 (146) | Led League in FGM 2009 (32) | 2x Pro-Bowl (06, 09) | 1x All-Pro (09)


P: Darren Bennett (1995-2003)

33,776 Punt Yds | 66 Long | 43.8 Yds/Punt | Led League in Yds/Punt 2000 (46.2) | 2x Pro-Bowl (95, 00) | 1x All-Pro (95) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team


Darren Bennett was the punter for the Chargers for nine seasons, averaging just under 44 yards per punt. He led the league in yards per punt in 2000 with 46.2 yards per punt and was named to the Pro-Bowl in 1995 and 2000, as well as the 1995 All-Pro Team. Bennett was also named to the Hall of fame All-1990s Team.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Paul Maguire (1960-1963) | 9,888 Punt Yds | 82 Long | 40.7 Yds/Punt | Led League in Punt Yds 1962 (3,289) | Led League in Long 1961 (82) | Led League in Yds/Punt 1960 (40.5) | 1x Pro-Bowl (62)

  2. Dennis Partee (1968-1975) | 21,417 Punt Yds | 73 Long | 41.3 Yds/Punt | Led League in Yds/Punt 1969 (44.6)

  3. Mike Scifres (2003-2015) | 34,152 Punt Yds | 72 Long | 45.2 Yds/Punt


Returner: Darren Sproles (2005-2010)

935 Punt Rt Yds | 2 Punt Rt TD | 8.2 Yds/Punt Rt | 6,469 Kick Rt Yds | 2 Kick Rt TD | 25.1 Yds/Kick Rt | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


I almost went with Speedy Duncan here, but Sproles's 6,469 kick return yards give him the edge here. Sproles had over 1,000 kick return yards in all five of his seasons in San Diego and took two of them to the house. He also had just under 1,000 punt return yards and 2 punt return touchdowns. Sproles was also named to the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team, though that was mainly in part to his years with other teams.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Speedy Duncan (1964-1970) | 1,651 Punt Rt Yds | 4 Punt Rt TD | 12 Yds/Punt Rt | 3,386 Kick Rt Yds | 25.3 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League in Punt Rt Yds 1965 (464) | Led League in Punt Rt TD 1965 and 1966 (2, 1) | Led League in Punt Rt Long 1966 and 1968 (81, 95) | Led League in Yds/Punt Rt 1965 and 1966 (15.5, 13.2) | 3x Pro-Bowl (65, 66, 67)


Head Coach: Sid Gillman (1960-1969, 1971)

Regular Season: 86-53-6 | 61.9 W-L% | Playoffs: 1-4 | 1963 AFL Champion | 1960, 1961, 1964 and 1965 AFL Championship Appearance | Hall of Fame Class 1983


Sid Gillman is the clear choice at coach for the Chargers. He has the most wins in franchise history and led the team five AFL Championship games, winning it all in 1963. Gillman was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. The Chargers have had some other great coaches, but none that stack up to Gillman.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Don Coryell (1978-1986) | Regular Season: 69-56 | 55.2 W-L% | Playoffs: 3-4

  2. Bobby Ross (1992-1996) | Regular Season: 47-33 | 58.8 W-L% | Playoffs: 3-3 | 1994 AFC Champion

  3. Marty Schottenheimer (2002-2006) | Regular Season: 47-33 | 58.8 W-L% | Playoffs: 0-2 | 2004 Coach of the Year

  4. Norv Turner (2008-2012) | Regular Season: 56-40 | 58.3 W-L% | Playoffs: 3-3

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