The Los Angeles Chargers are a professional American football franchise based in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The Chargers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The club was founded in 1959 by Barron Hilton and played the 1960 season in Los Angeles as part of the American Football League (AFL). In the next season, the Chargers moved to San Diego. In 2017, the Chargers relocated back to the Los Angeles area.
The franchise has experienced three major periods of success. The first was from 1960 to 1965, when the Chargers were AFL West champions five times and AFL champions once. The second was from 1978 to 1982, when the Chargers had winning seasons (seasons with more wins than losses) in each of these years, and won three consecutive division championships for the second time in franchise history. The most recent accomplishments range from 2004 to 2009, with the franchise reaching the playoffs five times in six years. Their only Super Bowl appearance was in 1994.
The Chargers have experienced three notable periods of decline. Between 1970 and 1977, the Chargers never won more games than they lost as part of a 13-year period without playing in the postseason, including four consecutive years last in their division from 1972 to 1975, in which year they bottomed out before two late wins avoided the NFL's first 0–14 season. From 1983 to 1991, they never placed higher than third in their division and did not make the playoffs. From 1996 to 2003, the team had no winning seasons, and had their worst season ever, winning only one of 16 games in 2000.
The Chargers have been division champions nine times including 2009, all of them in the AFC West. They have been conference champions six times, but only once since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. As of the end of the 2017 season, the Chargers had played 917 regular and postseason games in 58 seasons, and have appeared in the postseason seventeen times.
|AFL champions (1960–1969)||Conference champions||Division champions||Wild Card berth|
|Season||Team||League||Conference||Division||Regular season||Postseason results||Awards||Head coaches|
|Los Angeles Chargers|
|1960||1960||AFL||West||1st||10||4||0||Lost AFL Championship (at Oilers) 24–16||Sid Gillman|
|San Diego Chargers|
|1961||1961||AFL||West||1st||12||2||0||Lost AFL Championship (Oilers) 10–3||Sid Gillman|
|1962||1962||AFL||West||3rd||4||10||0||Earl Faison (ASG MVP)|
|1963||1963||AFL||West||1st||11||3||0||Won AFL Championship (1) (Patriots) 51–10||Lance Alworth (MVP)|
Keith Lincoln (ASG MVP)
|1964||1964||AFL||West||1st||8||5||1||Lost AFL Championship (at Bills) 20–7||Keith Lincoln (ASG MVP)|
|1965||1965||AFL||West||1st||9||2||3||Lost AFL Championship (Bills) 23–0||Frank Buncom (ASG MVP)|
|1967||1967||AFL||West||3rd||8||5||1||Speedy Duncan (ASG MVP)|
|1969||1969||AFL||West||3rd||8||6||0||John Hadl (ASG MVP)||Charlie Waller|
|1971||1971||NFL||AFC||West||3rd||6||8||0||Harland Svare (2–2) |
Sid Gillman (4–6)
|1973||1973||NFL||AFC||West||4th||2||11||1||Harland Svare (1–6–1) |
Ron Waller (1–5)
|1974||1974||NFL||AFC||West||4th||5||9||0||Don Woods (OROY)||Tommy Prothro|
|1978||1978[B]||NFL||AFC||West||3rd||9||7||0||Tommy Prothro (1–3) |
Don Coryell (8–4)
|1979||1979||NFL||AFC||West||1st||12||4||0||Lost Divisional Playoffs (Oilers) 17–14||Don Coryell|
|1980||1980||NFL||AFC||West||1st[C]||11||5||0||Won Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 20–14
Lost AFC Championship (Raiders) 34–27
|1981||1981||NFL||AFC||West||1st[D]||10||6||0||Won Divisional Playoffs (at Dolphins) 41–38 (OT)[E]
Lost AFC Championship (at Bengals)[F] 27–7
|Kellen Winslow (PB MVP)|
|1982[G]||1982||NFL||AFC||6th||6||3||0||Won First Round Playoffs (at Steelers) 31–28
Lost Second Round Playoffs (at Dolphins) 34–13
|Dan Fouts (OPOY,|
|1986||1986||NFL||AFC||West||5th||4||12||0||Leslie O'Neal (DROY)||Don Coryell (1–7) |
Al Saunders (3–5)
|1992||1992||NFL||AFC||West||1st||11||5||0||Won Wild Card Playoffs (Chiefs) 17–0
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Dolphins) 31–0
|1994||1994||NFL||AFC||West||1st||11||5||0||Won Divisional Playoffs (Dolphins) 22–21
Won AFC Championship (at Steelers) 17–13
Lost Super Bowl XXIX (vs. 49ers) 49–26
|1995||1995||NFL||AFC||West||2nd||9||7||0||Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Colts) 35–20|
|1998||1998||NFL||AFC||West||5th||5||11||0||Kevin Gilbride (2–4) |
June Jones (3–7)
|2004||2004||NFL||AFC||West||1st||12||4||0||Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Jets) 20–17 (OT)||Marty Schottenheimer (COY)|
Drew Brees (CBPOY)
|2005||2005||NFL||AFC||West||3rd||9||7||0||Shawne Merriman (DROY)|
|2006||2006||NFL||AFC||West||1st||14||2||0||Lost Divisional Playoffs (Patriots) 24–21||LaDainian Tomlinson (MVP, OPOY, WP MOY)|
|2007||2007||NFL||AFC||West||1st||11||5||0||Won Wild Card Playoffs (Titans) 17–6
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Colts) 28–24
Lost AFC Championship (at Patriots) 21–12
|2008||2008||NFL||AFC||West||1st||8||8||0||Won Wild Card Playoffs (Colts) 23–17 (OT)
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Steelers) 35–24
|2009||2009||NFL||AFC||West||1st||13||3||0||Lost Divisional Playoffs (Jets) 17–14|
|2013||2013||NFL||AFC||West||3rd||9||7||0||Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Bengals) 27–10
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Broncos) 24–17
|Philip Rivers (CBPOY)||Mike McCoy|
|2016||2016||NFL||AFC||West||4th||5||11||0||Joey Bosa (DROY)|
|Los Angeles Chargers|
|2017||2017||NFL||AFC||West||2nd||9||7||0||Keenan Allen (CBPOY)||Anthony Lynn|
|2018||2018||NFL||AFC||West||2nd||12||4||0||Won Wild Card Playoffs (at Ravens) 23–17
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Patriots) 41–28
|Total||459||464||11||(1960–2020, Regular season only)|
|12||18||—||(1960–2020, Postseason games only)|
|471||482||11||(1960–2020, Total for all games; 1 AFL Championship, 3 NFL Titles)|
- A As a result of the AFL-NFL merger, the league was broken into two conferences; the AFL teams moved into the American Football Conference.
- B This season included the Holy Roller game.
- C The Chargers finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on better net points in division games.
- D The Chargers finished ahead of the Denver Broncos based on better divisional record.
- E This game is known as The Epic in Miami.
- F This game was known as the Freezer Bowl.
- G The 1982 season was shortened by a strike, so the league was divided up into two conferences instead of its normal divisional alignment.
- H The strike of 1987 reduced the regular season schedule from 16 to 15 games.
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