A Chargers rout may certainly appear to be the order of the day when they play the Tennessee Titans in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs Sunday.
After all, Tennessee quarterback Vince Young is very hampered by an injury to his right quadriceps. Titans starting tight end Bo Scaife (lacerated liver) and top receiver Roydell Williams (fractured ankle) are both out.
So that means the Titans don’t have a chance because they are minus so many offensive weapons … right?
Not so fast. Not if Dec. 29, 1979 has anything to do with it.
Back then, the Titans were known as the Houston Oilers. On that date, the Oilers faced the top-seeded Chargers in the playoffs without starting quarterback Dan Pastorini, running back Earl Campbell and receiver Kenny Burrough.
The Chargers had Dan Fouts at quarterback, so the game was supposed to be a wipeout in San Diego’s favor.
But it wasn’t. Fouts was intercepted five times, including four by rookie safety Vernon Perry, and the Oilers shocked the world with a 17-14 win.
Fast forward to this Sunday and we have much the same situation as when the Chargers faced the Oilers/Titans in 1979.
Could history repeat itself? Could the storied franchised from Houston/Tennessee pull off an upset of the magnitude that it did in 1979?
That’s probably where the story line ends, but the Chargers better consider history before they consider this week’s game a certain victory.
Chargers 17, Titans 13