Chargers win for fans in possible final game in San Diego
San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle signs autographs after their win against the Miami Dolphins during the second half in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers leaves the field after their win against the Miami Dolphins in an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, right, is tackled by Miami Dolphins free safety Michael Thomas during the first half in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead (39) scores past Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Koa Misi during the first half in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — If this was the Chargers' last NFL game in San Diego, it ended with a victory and a surreal postgame scene.
Not long after the Chargers beat the Miami Dolphins 30-14 in a matchup of last-place teams on Sunday, Philip Rivers, Malcom Floyd, Eric Weddle and even coach Mike McCoy came back out to greet several thousand fans who don't want their team moving to Los Angeles.
Rivers worked his way around the stadium signing autographs. He took off his shoes, signed them and gave them away.
Rivers even signed two signs critical of team Chairman Dean Spanos, reading: "Spanos loves money and I love San Diego" and "Don't be the Grinch who stole the Bolts from San Diego."
"It was a special day, if it is the last one," said Rivers, who threw three touchdown passes to Woodhead and watched as the mighty mite ran for another score. "I told the guys before the game, they've been playing football in this town before any of us were born, and there's people who're going to be at that game today that were coming to games before we were born. But we get to close it out, if it is the end. Hopefully the fans that have seen it over the years and the players that played in there can be proud today that we at least ended it the right way."
Spanos, who has been pushing since February to be positioned to beat St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke to Los Angeles, refused comment as he left the locker room with his two sons, who now run the team. Spanos wants to tap L.A.'s perceived riches.
Spanos was the target of several signs. One read, "Does 54 years mean nothing Dean? NFL?" The sign was off by one year; the Chargers have been here 55 years.
After the game, Jackson Browne's "Stay" and even "Auld Lang Syne" played on the sound system.
"I felt that's the least we could do," Rivers said. "It's more than just us that this affects, obviously, if it is the last time," Rivers said. "You want them to at least end it with a memory that was unique. At least just a token that, we thank you. If this is the last one, I'll always be sick that we didn't win a championship while we were here."
In the fourth quarter, the Chargers played a video tribute to Floyd, who's retiring after 12 seasons in San Diego. He fought back tears after greeting fans following his final home game. Rivers tried to get Floyd a TD pass, but was intercepted at the 1 by Brent Grimes.
Safety Eric Weddle, whose contract expires after the season, signed autographs until police and security cleared the place. Weddle then went to the Chargers logo at midfield and stretched out on his back.
Lost in the emotion was that the Chargers played better than they did in failing to score a touchdown in three of their last four games, including in each of their last two home games.
The Chargers Cannon went off when Woodhead caught a 20-yard touchdown pass.
"San Diego Super Chargers," the disco ditty from the Air Coryell years, rang out after rookie Josh Lambo kicked a 28-yard field goal.
Woodhead caught touchdown passes of 20, 9 and 9 yards and scored on a 2-yard run.
With 37 seconds left, McCoy called timeout so Rivers, tight end Antonio Gates and Floyd could leave the game to applause.
He did the same thing for Weddle.
Those fans who stuck around to the end cheered at the final gun.
The Chargers (4-10) have gone as far as to partner with their hated rival, the Oakland Raiders, in proposing to build a stadium on the site of a former toxic waste dump in Carson. Kroenke has proposed a stadium in Inglewood. NFL owners could vote on relocation next month. The Chargers walked away from negotiations with city and county officials in mid-June.
The Chargers have had only 12 winning seasons since the Spanos family bought the team in 1984. They will miss the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.
Although there were many empty seats at kickoff, fans gave the Chargers a rousing ovation as they headed to the locker room with a 23-0 halftime lead.
Miami (5-9) lost for the fourth time in five games.
"I'm disappointed, frustrated, upset, mad, angry and any adjective you can think of right now," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "To come out and play like that on both sides of the ball is unacceptable in every sense of the word."
The play of the game came early in the second quarter. Rivers was intercepted by Reshad Jones, who weaved through traffic for 42 yards before guard Orlando Franklin stripped the ball. After a wild scramble, Rivers jumped on it. The Chargers moved down the field for Lambo's 28-yard field goal for a 9-0 lead.
For Miami, Jay Ajayi scored on a 12-yard run in the third quarter and Tannehill had a 1-yard keeper late in the fourth.
NOTES: Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (knee) and LB Kyle Emanuel (concussion) left the game. Injured for the Dolphins were OT Branden Albert (knee), LB Chris McCain (knee), LB Koa Misi (back) and C Mike Pouncey (foot). ... McCain was hurt trying to block a punt by Mike Scifres. McCain was sprawled across the punter. Scifres was OK, reluctant to move because of the severity of McCain's injury.