2020 NFL Preview: Chargers have built a team that can win now, with one glaring exception
Yahoo Sports is previewing all 32 teams as we get ready for the NFL season, counting down the teams one per weekday in reverse order of our initial 2020 power rankings. When it came to 21 of the starting positions on their football team, the Los Angeles Chargers went forth like contenders. The Chargers were aggressive on helping their offensive and defensive lines. The Chargers parted ways with Philip Rivers, which made sense because Rivers showed signs of decline last season. The Indianapolis Colts still thought enough of Rivers to give him $25 million for one season. The Chargers didn’t do much to replace Rivers though. They claimed they were fine with Tyrod Taylor.
The Los Angeles Chargers are moving into a brand new venue, SoFi Stadium, for the 2020 NFL season, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Star running back Austin Ekeler recently provided fans with a virtual tour of the awesome new stadium with a video shared by the team on Twitter. © Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports Someone's a big fan of the new digs.
That video screen really is insane, and it’s history in the making.
The Chargers and Los Angeles Rams will share SoFi Stadium going forward, much like the New York Giants and New York Jets share MetLife Stadium. It’s nearly done now, and it looks like it’ll provide players and fans alike with a first-class experience.
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- SoFi Stadium 97 percent complete, video board raised to rafters
- NFL players primed for huge contracts after Patrick Mahomes’ extension
- The 'Chargers in the NFL Hall of Fame' quiz
Related slideshow: The most memorable moment in the history of every NFL franchise (Provided by Yardbarker)
NFL aiming for salary cap solution by training camp
Fanless games could have a devastating impact on the NFL's overall budget, which could then in turn have a significant impact on the salary cap.While the salary cap number is not determined until March, the league is shooting to solve this dilemma by the time training camps open, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. This would do well to help teams manage their longer-term situations.
The most memorable moment in the history of every NFL franchise
In the rich history of the NFL, some moments stand out more than others. Here's a look at the most memorable of those moments for each of the 32 NFL franchises.
Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald's 64-yard touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII
Oh, what could have been. Trailing 20-16 with less than three minutes left in Super Bowl XLIII, Kurt Warner connected with Larry Fitzgerald for a 64-yard touchdown down the middle of the field to take the lead over Pittsburgh. Unfortunately for Arizona, Santonio Holmes and the Steelers were able to make a late comeback to win, 27-23.
Atlanta Falcons: Team blows 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI
It's been three years, but Falcons fans still have nightmares when hearing "28-3." That was the lead Atlanta held in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI over the Patriots, but Tom Brady and Co. came storming back to win, 34-28, in overtime. Following the game, criticized offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left to take the head coaching job in San Francisco.
Baltimore Ravens: Defense dominates Super Bowl XXXV
One of the most dominant defenses in NFL history finished off the 2000 season in fitting fashion, defeating the Giants, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV. Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis led the way for Baltimore's punishing defense, and New York's only points came on a kickoff return touchdown.
Carolina Panthers: Steve Smith's game-winning touchdown
The Panthers and Rams battled in one of the best playoff games of the 2000s, going to double overtime tied, 23-23, in the 2003 divisional round. Steve Smith ended the game with a 69-yard game winning score from Jake Delhomme to win. The Panthers would eventually advance to the Super Bowl before losing to New England.
Chicago Bears: Win Super Bowl XX over Patriots
The 1985 Bears were a legendary team with a legendary defense, and they capped off their season with a 46-10 win over New England. Defensive star Richard Dent was the game MVP, and perhaps the most memorable play was a short-yardage touchdown by stout defensive lineman William "Refrigerator" Perry.
Cincinnati Bengals: Jennings runs to Super Bowl history
Most football fans remember Super Bowl XXIII for the final drive orchestrated by Joe Montana, but before that point Stanford Jennings ran back a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. It was Cincinnati's only touchdown in a 20-16 loss.
Cleveland Browns: NFL Champs in 1964
For all the heartbreaking moments Cleveland has had in recent years, the team was triumphant in 1964, winning an NFL championship. The team dominated the Baltimore Colts in a 27-0 win in the championship game, as Jim Brown rushed for 114 yards and Gary Collins had three receiving scores.
Dallas Cowboys: The Hail Mary
The Cowboys have their fair share of great moments, but it's tough to top the "Hail Mary" 50-yard pass from Roger Staubach to Drew Pearson in 1975. The game-winner gave Dallas a 17-14 win over the Vikings in the NFC divisional round, and after the game Staubach said, "I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary."
Detroit Lions: Playoff win featuring Barry Sanders' greatness
Barry Sanders was a human highlight reel during his great NFL career, and it showed in Detroit's last playoff win back in 1991-92. Sanders capped off the 38-6 victory over Dallas with a 47-yard run, finishing the game with 99 yards from scrimmage.
Green Bay Packers: The Ice Bowl
The 1967 NFL championship between the Packers and Cowboys is still considered one of the greatest games in league history. The temperature at game time was -15 Fahrenheit in Green Bay, and after a game of back and forth, quarterback Bart Starr was able to score late on a game-winning 1-yard run to win, 21-17. Green Bay went on to blow out the Raiders in Super Bowl II two weeks later.
Houston Texans: Watt's pick six
J.J. Watt is arguably the greatest player in the history of the young Texans franchise, so it's fitting that he also made the greatest play. Tied 10-10 in the team's first-ever playoff game, vs. the Bengals in the 2011 playoffs, Watt picked off Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and ran the ball 29 yards for a score. Houston eventually won 31-10.
Indianapolis Colts: Marlin Jackson sends Colts to the Super Bowl
The rivalry between the Colts and Patriots during the 2000s was arguably the best in football, and the 2006 AFC championship was one of its best games. The Colts led New England, 38-34, with 24 seconds remaining when Jackson picked off Tom Brady. Indianapolis got over the hump by finally beating the Patriots and would advance to easily beat the Bears in the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning's only championship as a member of the Colts.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Shocking victory over Broncos in 1996 Divisional Round
Jacksonville wasn't given much of a shot as heavy underdogs at Denver in only their second season as an NFL franchise. Despite trailing, 12-0, after the first quarter, terrific performances by Mark Brunell and Natrone Means helped the Jags claim their second consecutive 30-27 playoff win before falling to New England in the AFC championship.
Las Vegas Raiders: Marcus Allen shines in the Super Bowl
Allen had one of the greatest Super Bowl performances by a running back, in Super Bowl XVIII, as the Raiders defeated Washington, 38-9. He broke the Super Bowl rushing record at the time with 191 yards, headlined by a 74-yard touchdown run to cap off the 1983 season.
Los Angeles Chargers: 1994 AFC championship
The Chargers advanced to the Super Bowl with an upset of the Steelers in a 17-13 road victory. The game featured a great performance by linebacker Junior Seau and two touchdown passes from Stan Humphries. Unfortunately, the team was blown out by the dominant 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX.
Los Angeles Rams: Mike Jones' tackle
The Rams have had so many memorable moments in L.A. and St. Louis., but the end of Super Bowl XXXIV stands out, ending a movie-script season. Leading 23-16, the Rams defense needed to stop Tennessee once more to seal the victory. Titans wideout Kevin Dyson caught a pass over the middle but was tackled just before reaching the goal line by Jones in a play affectionately remembered as "The Tackle." Vermeil rode off into the sunset with an incredible Super Bowl victory in the 1999 season.
Miami Dolphins: Perfect season
Miami's most memorable "moment" encompasses a full season of perfection. The 1972 Dolphins still stand as the only NFL team to ever finish a season undefeated, going 17-0 through the playoffs. The team finished off perfection with a 14-7 win over Washington in Super Bowl VII.
Minnesota Vikings: The Minneapolis Miracle
It looked like another playoff disappointment for the Vikings in the 2017 season, trailing the Saints 24-23 after leading 17-0 at halftime in the divisional round. With only one play left in the game, Case Keenum threw up a prayer that was answered by Stefon Diggs. A botched missed tackle by Saints safety Marcus Williams allowed Diggs to run untouched down the sideline for a 61-yard game winning touchdown later called the "Minneapolis Miracle."
New England Patriots: Adam Vinatieri kicks off a dynasty
The Patriots have had countless unforgettable moments in their 20-year dynasty, but it all started with a Vinatieri kick. New England entered as major underdogs vs. the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, but had the ball tied 17-17 near the end of the game. Against commentator John Madden's advice, the team opted not to play for overtime, making a quick drive down the field to give Vinatieri a 48-yard game-winning field goal. The game furthered the legend of arguably the most clutch kicker in NFL history and was the first of six Super Bowl wins during the team's dynasty with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
New Orleans Saints: Steve Gleason's punt block
Sports are often more than just a game, as the Saints showed in an epic 2006 season when the franchise brought the city of New Orleans back from Hurricane Katrina. In the team's first game at the Superdome since the hurricane, Steve Gleason made an incredible punt block early in Week 3 vs. Atlanta that led to a touchdown. New Orleans returned to the playoffs that season with Drew Brees at quarterback and would win it all three years later. Gleason's block now lives on with a statue outside the Superdome.
New York Giants: David Tyree's helmet catch
The Giants pulled off the impossible in Super Bowl XLII by halting New England's undefeated season, and it wouldn't have been possible without a legendary catch by David Tyree late in the game. Eli Manning and the Giants trailed the Pats, 14-10, with 1:15 remaining on a critical third-and-5. Escaping the pressure, Manning threw the ball in the air to Tyree, who pinned the ball to his helmet for an incredible 32-yard gain, eventually leading to a game-winning catch by Plaxico Burress.
New York Jets: Joe Namath makes good on guarantee
The Jets were given little chance against the Colts in Super Bowl III, but Joe Namath guaranteed a win before the game. He proved to be a man of his word in a 16-7 win to hand the Colts only their second loss of the season.
Philadelphia Eagles: Philly Special
Philadelphia finished off their Cinderella Story with backup quarterback Nick Foles leading the way to game MVP in Super Bowl LII. The most memorable play of the game was known as "Philly Special," a trick play in which running back Corey Clement took the snap, flipped the ball to tight end Trey Burton, and Burton threw the touchdown pass to a wide open Foles in the end zone to give Philadelphia a commanding 22-12 lead in the second quarter.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Immaculate Reception
Arguably the most incredible play in the history of football, the Immaculate Reception still gives Steelers fans goosebumps some 40 years later. Pittsburgh trailed the Raiders, 7-6, on a fourth-and-10 with 22 seconds remaining in the divisional round of the 1972 playoffs when Terry Bradshaw threw a pass into the air. Raiders Jack Tatum and John Fuqua collided while trying to intercept the ball, and Franco Harris was in the right place at the right time, catching the ball just before it landed on the ground and running for a touchdown to win 13-7.
San Francisco 49ers: The Catch
San Francisco's success in the '80s and '90s brought plenty of memorable moments, but none more epic than Dwight Clark's incredible touchdown catch in the 1981 NFC championship. Trailing the Cowboys, 27-21, Joe Montana drove the 49ers down the field and had third-and-3 on the 6-yard line with 58 seconds remaining. Rolling to his right under heavy pressure, Montana threw a seemingly perfect pass that ended up in Clark's outstretched arms at the back of the end zone, as "The Catch" capped off an 89-yard game-winning drive.
Seattle Seahawks: Malcolm Butler's Interception
The Seahawks' most memorable moment is one they'd like to forget. Seattle had an opportunity to win back-to-back Super Bowls, but Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler and questionable play calling at the goal line stood in their way. Trailing 28-24 with 26 seconds left at the 1-yard line, the Seahawks opted to throw a slant rather than hand the ball off to star running back Marshawn Lynch. Butler jumped Ricardo Lockette's route and made an incredible interception with 20 seconds left to preserve the win in Super Bowl XLIX for New England.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Super Bowl XXXVII
The 2002 Bucs defense is known as one of the best ever and paved the road to immortality by defeating the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. The win also gave head coach Jon Gruden sweet revenge over his former team after he was traded the previous offseason. Tampa Bay picked off Rich Gannon five times in the 48-21 victory, with three of the picks being returned for touchdowns in the second half.
Tennessee Titans: Music City Miracle
Perhaps the best special teams play in NFL history, the Titans pulled off the "Music City Miracle" to defeat Buffalo and win 22-16 in the Wild Card round of the 1999 playoffs. Trailing 16-15 with 16 seconds left, the Titans kickoff return team performed the "Home Run Throwback" in which Frank Wycheck threw the ball laterally across the field to Kevin Dyson, who had a line of blockers and ran for a touchdown. Tennessee would later advance to the Super Bowl, where it would lose a close game to the Rams.
Washington Redskins: John Riggins makes big run in Super Bowl XVII
Washington dominated the second half of Super Bowl XVII vs. Miami, and the biggest play was a 43-yard touchdown run by John Riggins on fourth-and-one during the fourth quarter. The run down the right sideline gave Washington a 20-17 lead, and the team went on to win, 27-17.
NFL preseason can be ruled out .
As the NFL continues to prepare for training camps amid COVID-19, news on how the league will operate once players return surfaces frequently. Here is the latest on the virus-NFL front: A four-week preseason slate looks like the less realistic scenario, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link).As the NFL continues to prepare for training camps amid COVID-19, news on how the league will operate once players return surfaces frequently. Here is the latest on the virus-NFL front: © Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports The NFL prepare for training camps amid COVID-19. A four-week preseason slate looks like the less realistic scenario, Mike Garafolo of NFL.