Earlier this season I wrote that I would be disappointed in the Chargers if they didn't finish with at least 12 wins. They started horribly at 1-3, stumbled to 5-5, and then pulled away to 11-5. An awesome feat, obviously, but still disappointing. 11 wins are not 12.
And then they won their twelfth last week, in their first playoff victory since their AFC Championship season when I was still in high school. Another awesome feat, granted, but it didn't count. They were, after all, 0-4 in the playoffs since they won that AFC title.
But, today, they beat the Indianapolis Colts (again) 28-24, taking their overall record this season to 13-5, and their playoff record since the aforementioned title to 2-4.
They are, quite simply, no longer a disappointment. Hell, they even emphasized their versatility today by playing Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson's backups for extended periods.
Of course I'm rooting for the Chargers all the way to the Lombardi Trophy, but even if they lose next week to the Patriots, they've earned their berth in the pantheon of the NFL's elite.
Now, if only Eli Manning will lose today... that'll cap a perfect evening.