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L.T. can be new king of TDs

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/2005-10-20-tomlinson_x.htm" target="_blank">USA Today</a>

    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/tomlinson18.jpg" alt="LaDanian Tomlinson" />

    By Jarrett Bell

    This knack is often tested in the shadow of the goal line, when every soul in the stadium suspects the San Diego Chargers star will get the football. Of all the traits that make the special package of LaDainian Tomlinson arguably the NFL's best running back, his nose for the end zone provides an exclamation point.

    You try finding pay dirt in those circumstances - which can resemble a multiple-car pileup on the freeway with the twisted bodies of 300-pound linemen stacked like wreckage - requiring split-second reaction with merely a crack of daylight.

    "Everything speeds up and it's blurry for a minute," Tomlinson describes. "But you've got to have a little patience sometimes to just find a soft spot. There's always a soft spot in the defense, and it's your job to find it."

    For Tomlinson, who can set an NFL record at the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday by scoring a touchdown in his 19th consecutive game, it's a job well done. (Related column: Saraceno says L.T., Moore set examples)

    Of his 10 rushing touchdowns this season, eight have come from inside the 5-yard line. His vision is complemented by more power than might be expected from a 5-10, 221-pounder, a Harry Houdini-like quality of making defenders miss, an explosive first step and undeniable determination.

    "When you get down by the goal line," Tomlinson says, "you've got to have a different mind-set. ... 'No matter what, I won't let them stop me.' "

    Tomlinson, in his fifth season, has scored 71 touchdowns in 69 games. He tied Jim Brown for second fastest in NFL history to the 70-TD milepost, a game behind Steve Van Buren's pace.

    Now Tomlinson - second in the NFL this season for yards from scrimmage (821) and TDs (11) and third in rushing (652 yards) - is poised to surpass a mark established 40 years ago by Hall of Famer Lenny Moore.

    He'd rather secure a win to keep San Diego (3-3) within range of AFC West-leading Denver. "I share the record with Lenny now, and I'm not a greedy person."

    Like Moore was, Tomlinson is the league's pre-eminent double threat. The classic inside-outside runner also has a 100-catch season on his résumé. At Oakland on Sunday, he stung the Raiders with three types of touchdowns - rushing, receiving and passing.

    Think history provides extra incentive for a defense ranked 23rd vs. the run?

    Stop LT, and you avoid being on the wrong side of a fresh record.

    Tomlinson sounds as unfazed as he is on third-and-goal. "I'm always a marked man," he says.

    Marks of consistency

    San Diego Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson can set an NFL record Sunday by scoring a touchdown in his 19th consecutive game. A glance at other individual "consecutive" NFL records that reflect remarkable consistency: Consecutive

    •Games with TD pass: 47, Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts (1956-60)

    •Games with TD catch: 13, Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers (1986-87)

    •Games with 4 TD passes: 5, Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts (2004)

    •100-yard rushing games: 14, Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions (1997)

    •300-yard passing games: 6, Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers (1998)

    Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (2000)

    Rich Gannon, Oakland Raiders (2002)

    •100-yard receiving games: 7, Charley Hennigan, Houston Oilers (1961)

    Michael Irvin, Dallas Cowboys (1995)

    •Games with a sack: 10, Simon Fletcher, Denver Broncos (1992-93)

    •Games with an interception: 8, Tom Morrow, Oakland Raiders (1962-63)

    •Games with a field goal: 38, Matt Stover, Baltimore Ravens (1999-2001)

    •Games played: 282, Jim Marshall, Minnesota Vikings-Cleveland Browns (1961-79)

    •Games started, quarterback: 210, Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers (1992-current)

    •1,000-yard rushing seasons: 11, Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys (1991-2001)

    •Seasons, NFL rushing leader: 5, Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns (1957-61)

    •Seasons, NFL passing yards leader: 4, Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers (1979-82)

    •Completions: 24, Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles (2004)

    •Field goals made: 42, Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis Colts (2002-2004)

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