San Diego - Thirteen long years after their last postseason victory, the Chargers finally came to life late in the second half Sunday to beat the Tennessee Titans 17-6 in an AFC wild-card game.
A gloomy, rainy afternoon never looked so good in normally sunny San Diego. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson was held to 42 yards, but got to celebrate the first playoff victory in three tries in his brilliant career.
The Titans bottled up Tomlinson, the two-time NFL rushing champion, and dared quarterback Philip Rivers to beat them. The second-year starter did just that, throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson late in the third quarter that gave San Diego its first lead at 10-6.
Tomlinson finally found the end zone midway through the fourth quarter, on a fourth-down leap over the pile from inside the 1-yard line that had to survive a video replay.
Tomlinson went airborne and was met by linebacker Stephen Tulloch, but the running back used a second effort to get the ball over the goal line before linebacker Colin Allred knocked it out of his hands.
Tomlinson jumped for joy, but Titans coach Jeff Fisher threw his red challenge flag. After a video review, it was ruled that the ball crossed the plane of the goal line. Tomlinson celebrated again on the sideline.
There would be no comeback for Vince Young and the Titans (10-7), who lost to the Chargers in overtime at Nashville five weeks ago in a tough, nasty game in which several players were hurt.