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Kansas City Columnist says LT vs LJ is no contest

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by JTango32, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. JTango32

    JTango32 BoltTalker

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    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/16264441.htm

    Best back becomes obvious
    by Jason Whitlock, 12/18/2006

    SAN DIEGO | The LJ and LT comparisons can stop now.

    Larry Johnson is a very good running back. LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the five best backs we’ve ever seen, and with each record he sets, he makes his head coach, Marty Schottenheimer, look like a prophet.

    LT just might be the Muhammad Ali of running backs, the greatest of all time. The candidates, in no particular order, are: Earl Campbell, Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Tomlinson.

    Right now, I wouldn’t consider LT the best, but I’m willing to entertain the possibility.

    On a night when San Diego’s quarterback, Philip Rivers, played like a first-year starter, Tomlinson took on Kansas City’s 11 defenders and put together a 199-yard, two-TD performance, leading the Chargers to a 20-9 victory that all but eliminated the Chiefs, 7-7, from the AFC playoff picture.

    If there was ever much of a debate about who was the better running back — Johnson or Tomlinson — the question was answered rather definitively Sunday night at Qualcomm Stadium.

    Johnson came into the game leading Tomlinson in rushing yards. When it was over, Johnson trailed Tomlinson by more than 100. Johnson didn’t play poorly, by his standards. He grinded out 84 yards on the ground and averaged a little more than 4 yards per carry.

    But he’s simply nowhere near as complete a football player as Tomlinson.

    LT is a home-run hitter. He pretty much ended the game late in the second quarter, ripping off an 85-yard touchdown run one play after the Chiefs thought they’d blocked a punt and put themselves back in the game.

    KC reserve safety Bernard Pollard did block San Diego’s punt. However, the fine play was ruined when the ball sailed just past the line of scrimmage and Derrick Ross foolishly tried to scoop it up. Ross got one hand on the ball, and then San Diego’s David Binn fell on the loose ball.

    Instead of having the ball at the San Diego 15 trailing 7-3, the next time KC’s offense took the field, the Chiefs were down 14-3. The longest run of LT’s career killed KC’s momentum and 2006 season.

    Tomlinson landed the knockout blow when he followed fullback Lorenzo Neal on a simple isolation play off left tackle. Tomlinson motored down the Kansas City sideline untouched.

    LT is nearly as shifty as Barry Sanders. He’s as explosive as Bo Jackson. He stiff-arms as well as Walter Payton. He runs with Marcus Allen’s intelligence. And he’s as fast as he needs to be.

    Oh, and LT is rewriting the NFL recordbook. He tacked on three more records Sunday night. He broke Paul Hornung’s single-season scoring record. Hornung set the record in 12 games, scoring 15 touchdowns, kicking extra points and field goals. LT now has 186 points in 14 games. His 28 rushing TDs are a new standard. In eight straight games, he’s scored at least two TDs.

    The multiple-TD streak is incredible. Defenses are stacked to stop him. Rivers is having a nice season, but he doesn’t scare defensive coordinators. Neither do San Diego’s receivers.

    Kansas City’s defense needed to do one thing Sunday night: stop Tomlinson. The Chiefs couldn’t do it.

    On Tomlinson’s first touchdown — a 15-yarder — Patrick Surtain had Tomlinson positioned perfectly. I never once thought Surtain would make the tackle. That’s not a statement about Surtain. It’s a statement about how unlikely it is for one man to stop LT.

    If Gale Sayers ran with power, he would have been an early version of Tomlinson.


    Can Johnson ever be as good as Tomlinson?

    No. Johnson is a tremendous power runner. He’s what Jamal Lewis used to be in Baltimore. But for as much as Johnson studies film of the great running backs, I’m not sure he’s all that interested in being a complete back. He whiffed on two critical blocks in pass protection early in the game. (He did a better job in the second half.) Johnson refuses to carry the ball in his left arm, which prevents him from straight-arming with his right arm.

    Johnson is a very good player. He’s just not LaDainian Tomlison, a once-in-a-lifetime running back.
     
  2. Nomadic Bolt Fan

    Nomadic Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Nice read, thanks! :ABQ2: :lt: :ABQ1:
     
  3. PhillyChargerFan

    PhillyChargerFan Well-Known Member

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  4. Daddy_O

    Daddy_O Well-Known Member

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    Even I could run like that if this is the goal!:tup:
     
  5. JTango32

    JTango32 BoltTalker

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    Uh, does she have a name? :yes:
     

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