As such, the October 28 matchup between the Bills and Chargers in San Diego was heavily promoted as a dual grudge match, not just between Johnson and Flutie, but also between Wilson and Butler, with Wilson having been quoted as wanting to win the Chargers game more than the Super Bowl. Despite the fact that the Bills were having a very bad season, and the Chargers' fortunes (at the time) had turned significantly, the game was very competitive, coming down to the final minutes play. Trailing 24–20, Flutie scrambled 13 yards to put the Chargers up 27–24; when kicker Jake Arians attempted a 44-yard field goal to tie the game, it was blocked. The Chargers, then 5–2, would not win another game the entire season, going 0–9 in the remaining nine games.
Michael Vick was selected in the 2001 NFL Draft as the first overall pick and first African American quarterback taken number 1 in the NFL Draft. The San Diego Chargers had the number one selection spot in the draft that year but traded the rights to the first overall choice to the Atlanta Falcons a day before the draft, for which they received the Falcons' first round pick (5th overall) and third round pick in 2001 (used to draft CBTay Cody), a second round pick in 2002 (used to draft WR Reche Caldwell) and WR/KRTim Dwight. With the Chargers' downgraded spot (the 5th overall), they selected Texas Christian Universityrunning backLaDainian Tomlinson, who went on to become league MVP in 2006 . Although Vick has never become league MVP, he finished second in voting in 2004. In this way, Tomlinson and Vick are linked as having been "traded" for each other, although the transaction was actually the result of traded draft picks and contract negotiations. The Chargers' other notable draft pick was Drew Brees, who would eventually win Super Bowl XLIV as a member of the Saints.