For the second straight week, all the dominos fell just right to fulfill the playoff dreams of the San Diego Chargers.
Just two weeks ago, the Bolts had less than a one-percent chance to go to the playoffs this year.
On Sunday the team got what they needed - losses by the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins and a win over the Kansas City Chiefs - to claim the final playoff spot in the AFC.
After the game, the excitement spilled over into the parking lot as Chargers fans cheered and hollered while walking to their cars.
“Playoffs baby!” one man screamed while holding a Chargers banner.
“Such anticipation with everything that’s got to fall in the right way,” first-year season ticket holder Sean McIlwain said.
“What a good win for San Diego, this was awesome,” he added.
Nancy Blackwood and Judy Durocher have been season ticket holders for a very long time and they saw Sunday’s win as the culmination of a great season.
“I think it’s the change of the coach, the general manage. Everybody’s connecting better. They’re all talking together. The team’s better,” Durocher said.
“There’s an excitement we haven’t had in a long time,” Blackwood said.
After the game, Chargers talked about the bond between players and how the end of the season was a unique experience.
“There’s a reason why we finished 4 out of 5 at home. I can’t tell you why. But it’s a great way to end it tonight,” said head coach Mike McCoy said.
“We’re all here together and we’re on the same team and it’s special,” Philip Rivers said.
“The love we have for this team, the teammates the camaraderie has been on no other level than I’ve ever been on in any team in any year,” Eric Weddle said.
From 2006 to 2009, the Chargers had four consecutive years in the playoffs. Then they hit a rough patch, three consecutive years without a post-season appearance.
“It’s been a journey for all of us. We’re back in since 2009. I think it’s about time San Diego gets to hoist up that trophy and now we have a chance to do it,” Nick Novak said.