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Tomlinson simply one of the greats

Discussion in 'American Football' started by boltssbbound, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2006

    Tomlinson simply one of the greats
    By Alan Abrahamson
    Posted: Nov.20, 2006, 1:41 am ESTDENVER -- This is what it was like, back in the day, watching Jim Brown. Or Walter Payton. Or Emmitt Smith.

    LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers, it must be said directly and forthrightly, without equivocation, is a talent for the ages. Years from now, when recounting the history of the NFL, old men will say with a sigh that it was a privilege to watch him play, to watch him run, to watch him catch, to watch him score.

    Jack Dempsey/AP
    LaDainian Tomlinson had a lot to be happy about Sunday night: a Chargers win, four touchdowns, and the fastest 100 touchdowns in league history.Tomlinson scored four touchdowns as the Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos here Sunday night, 35-27, coming back -- for the second week in a row -- to win on the road. Down 21 last week at Cincinnati, the Chargers won. Down 17 in the third quarter Sunday night, the Chargers won.

    The victory lifted the Chargers to 8-2, alone in first place in the AFC West, Denver falling to 7-3.

    And it emphatically catapulted San Diego into the ranks of serious Super Bowl contenders.

    "I think this win showed a lot of people -- to do it on the road, the way we had to do it -- that we're for real," San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers said afterward. Tomlinson called the victory "huge" and, noting Indianapolis' loss earlier Sunday to Dallas, said the AFC playoff race, now feels "wide open."

    He added, "One more loss with Indy and, hey, who knows?"


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    Tomlinson's four touchdowns give him 102 in his career. He reached 100 in his 89th game, faster than any player in NFL history. Brown and Smith both did so in 93 games. "Obviously, I looked up to Emmitt Smith growing up," Tomlinson said after the game. "Jim Brown was an icon. The man was incredible.

    "… It's just phenomenal to be mentioned in the same breath with a guy like Jim Brown."

    The four touchdowns mean Tomlinson now has 22 for the season. The league record is 28, by Seattle's Shaun Alexander. Tomlinson has six more games to play in the 2006 season.

    Tomlinson rushed for 105 yards Sunday. He already has surpassed 1,000 for the year -- with 1,037 after 10 games. In addition, he caught three passes for 74 yards; he has 47 receptions for the year.

    "He's the best there is," Rivers said. "There's not many people who would argue with that. At least anymore they don't."

    Denver cornerback Darrent Williams said: "In my eyes, he's the best. It's everything: competitiveness, speed, quickness, ability to break tackles. He's always making the big play."

    San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer, meanwhile, said Tomlinson's best this year may be yet to come. "He's as fresh and ready to play as any time that I can remember him being since I've been coaching here," Schottenheimer said. "I watch him in practice and he is just -- there's that burst. And in a game he makes that cut and he's at full speed in one step."

    The Chargers won Sunday in a stadium, and in a city, at which historically San Diego has faltered. Coming into this game, the Chargers had lost six straight in Denver and 10 of 11.

    They won even though Rivers, who had only thrown three interceptions all year, threw two, one of which turned directly into a Denver touchdown.

    They won despite a rash of bothersome injuries during the game -- to linebacker Shaun Philips, safety Marlon McCree and others -- that, Schottenheimer said, left the Chargers so thin on defense it wasn't clear there were enough guys to put onto the field.

    Moreover, they won even though they were playing without their two best defensive players, lineman Luis Castillo, out with an ankle injury, and linebacker Shawne Merriman, serving the third game of a four-game steroid-related suspension.

    Merriman's suspension could have been a season-wrecker for San Diego; instead, the Chargers have won all three games he has missed. Next week they get a chance to make it four, back home against Oakland.

    Last week, down 28-7 at halftime at Cincinnati, San Diego won, 49-41.

    Here, the Chargers let it slip to 24-7 in the third quarter, Denver extending the lead to 17 when Rivers threw his second interception of the game, a floater across the field that Darrent Williams picked off and ran back 31 yards for a touchdown.

    Schottenheimer said, "The best quality about the young man -- Phillip Rivers never thinks about the last play. That was the quality in my view that made Joe Montana the great quarterback that he was. When the previous play's over … it doesn't matter to him."

    "Nobody panicked," Rivers said. "And I put it behind me and said, 'I just have to keep playing.' That's a credit to our team, our maturity, and we're a special bunch. It was like the scoreboard wasn't even up there. We just went out there and played; we didn't rush. We were able to get in a rhythm again."

    The Chargers' next series: 60 yards, seven plays, Tomlinson in for a score on a 3-yard run -- the 100 th touchdown of his career.

    Denver went three-and-out.

    Three plays later, Rivers threw to Tomlinson alone -- freakishly alone -- in the middle of the field. He ran, untouched, to the end zone, 51 yards. Just that fast, it was 24-21.

    Denver started the fourth quarter with a field goal.

    The Chargers came right back, going 55 yards in seven plays, Rivers from the 5-yard-line finding Vincent Jackson in the back left corner of the end zone. Chargers, 28-27.

    On Denver's next series, the Chargers' Drayton Florence intercepted Jake Plummer at the Bronco 46. Florence ran the ball back to the 23. Five plays later, Tomlinson scored again. Chargers, 35-27.

    Tomlinson said, "We're a relentless group of guys. You know, we feel like we're never out of a football game no matter how much we're down. You have to keep playing against us. Because we feel like we can score any time."

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  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Aug 14, 2006
    Thats Sir LaDanian Tomlinson to you buddy!!! LOL jp
  3. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

    Jan 13, 2006
  4. KimPossible

    KimPossible BoltTalker

    Jun 23, 2006
    LT has been blessed with innate true athletic ability...I'm glad I became a Charger fan two years ago and can watch LT...it is exciting to see him play. I also like his attitude. He seems like a real team player. I'm glad it's our team he's playing for and I hope he wears a Charger uniform for many years to come.

    I also hope he continues to score 3 TDs per game...:icon_eek:

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