After a falling out with Head Coach Mike Ditka, Jim McMahon was traded from the Chicago Bears to San Diego. He started 12 games for a dreadful 6–10 Chargers team in 1989. He went 4–8 in the games he started, though the team lost 4 of those games by a combined 11 points in spite of his spotty play at times. He only had 4 games over 200 yds, but had 389 yds against the Houston Oilers in a Week 2 loss. He also had a falling out with team players, management and Coach Dan Henning in his year with San Diego with his lackluster play and ego. He was benched for the final four games and finished the year with 2,132 yds, 10 TDs and 10 INTs. He was released and moved on to backup Randall Cunningham on the Philadelphia Eagles in 1990.