Chargers are something special

Guaranteed a winning season for the first time since 1995 is just one step the San Diego Chargers have planned for the year. A few more wins and a home playoff game are also on the agenda.

No matter what happens the final four games, there's something the Chargers have guaranteed: a winning season.

That hasn't been one in these parts since 1995. It's been an eight-year skid, which sticks to this organization's side, much like the eight straight years it hasn't reached the playoffs.

"I'm going to steal a quote that I heard Bill Parcells say last year: they can't call us losers anymore," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. "We have guaranteed ourselves a winning season this year.

"With that said, how far are we going to take the thing? Our goal is to take it all the way to the Super Bowl. With that in mind we can't get caught up in everything going on around us."

What's gotten into the Chargers, a winners of six straight after disposing of the Denver Broncos on Sunday, 20-13. The win gave the Bolts a two-game lead over Denver in the AFC West, with just four to play.

"It's the talent and heart that we have, and just a commitment the guys on this team have," Tomlinson said. "Not only for each other, but for the game. The guys we have love to play football; you can just tell. Especially guys on the defense. It's the mindset and mentality they have. I like the way the think."

Most thought the Chargers were in line for another stinker of a season. They were coming off a 4-12 season, had five new starters along the offensive line, no proven wide receiver, a quarterback the club had obviously lost confidence in, a rebuilt defense and a fresh punter and kicker.

Other than that...

"The difference is we just got different guys that just want to play football," Tomlinson said. "Last year, we had guys that wanted to do other things. This year, we got guys that are committed to playing football."

He's speaking of wide receiver David Boston. Of defensive end Marcellus Wiley. Of offensive linemen like Solomon Page and Kelvin Garmon.

But they're gone, and the Chargers are back. And that is something even the reluctant Tomlinson will sign off on.

"Now I'm saying we got something special," he said. "I told someone coming out of the bye week this is going to see what kind of character we have on this team. We have three straight division games -- the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos. This is going to determine how good we are.

"Now, after these three games, I can say I think we got something special here."

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