SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The notion was floating out there, perhaps started by worried fantasy geeks, that LaDainian Tomlinson had lost a step.
Which is about as right on as saying snow is expected in San Diego at any moment.
If there was anything wrong, it was that the Chargers' star running back had yet to hit his Superman stride.
Tomlinson restored order last Sunday when he gained 183 yards on 25 carries; had 57 yards on three catches; stiff-armed safety Oshiomogho Atogwe's helmet off during a touchdown run; recovered an onside kick; and, most importantly, scored three more TDs in a 38-24 win against St. Louis.
It's true that Tomlinson had only one 100-yard rushing game and scored three touchdowns through the first four games. That was as much a product of Philip Rivers airing it out in a few games as anything else. Tomlinson did have 98 yards in a loss at Baltimore, but all anybody remembered about that game was that coach Marty Schottenheimer went conservative and the Chargers came from ahead to lose.
In the last three games, Tomlinson has gained 513 yards from scrimmage, scored eight touchdowns and thrown for another.
Now in his sixth season, Tomlinson heard some chatter about him getting old and maybe slowing down.
"I don't know where it was. It wasn't through the media. It just stuck with me," he said as the Chargers, tied for the AFC West lead with Denver at 5-2, prepared to host the Cleveland Browns and their porous run defense. "It was good motivation, you know what I mean?"