The afternoon felt like a final goodbye in San Diego.
Philip Rivers and company put together their best performance of the season to beat the Miami Dolphins30-14. On both sides of the ball the Chargers played with more heart and passion -- which was noticeably absent for most of the season. It was evident that this particular game, no matter what the outcome is after the season, was different for the team.
"The atmosphere today was awesome. Shoot, they're still out there now like we just won a playoff game, and we just got our fourth win. It was a special day," Rivers said after the win. "If it is the last one -- and that's what I kind of told the guys before the game -- they've been playing football in this town before any of us were born and there's people that are going to be at that game today that were coming to games before we were born. We get to close it out. If it is the end, we get to finish it off. Hopefully, the fans that have seen it over the years and the players that have played in there can be proud today that we at least ended it the right way."
On the Chargers' second-to-last play in victory formation, coach Mike McCoy pulled Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd from the game to the tune of a rousing ovation from the crowd. Rivers walked off in tears. All three veterans spent their entire NFL careers in San Diego, a combined 37 years with the franchise.
"It truly is an honor to be a quarterback in the NFL and in a sense when you're a quarterback of a team in the NFL and you've been blessed as much as I have to stay in the same place for 12 years, you become the quarterback of that town in a sense," an emotional Rivers added after the game.