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Tomlinson runs wild in Chargers' 38-24 rout of Rams

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://bolttalk.com/Tomlinson%20runs%20wild%20in%20Chargers%27%20rout%20of%20Rams">Associated Press</a>

    <a target="_blank" href="http://bolttalk.com/Tomlinson%20runs%20wild%20in%20Chargers%27%20rout%20of%20Rams"><img title="LaDainian Tomlinson eases into the end zone, finishing off a 38-yard touchdown run in the first quarter Sunday. With LT having his biggest game of the season – 240 total yards, 183 yards rushing and 3 TDs – the Chargers outpaced the St. Louis Rams 38-24 to improve to 5-2." alt="LaDainian Tomlinson eases into the end zone, finishing off a 38-yard touchdown run in the first quarter Sunday. With LT having his biggest game of the season – 240 total yards, 183 yards rushing and 3 TDs – the Chargers outpaced the St. Louis Rams 38-24 to improve to 5-2." src="http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/images/061029lt-td-getty.jpg" /></a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    SAN DIEGO – On a bounce-back Sunday for San Diego, LaDainian Tomlinson and Shawne Merriman had their biggest games since opening night.

    Tomlinson rushed for a season-high 183 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Chargers to a 38-24 win over the St. Louis Rams. Tomlinson surpassed 8,000 yards rushing for his six-year career, and tied his boyhood idol, Emmitt Smith, as the second-fastest players to score 90 touchdowns, in 86 games. The quickest was Jim Brown in 81 games.

    Tomlinson, who carried 25 times, reached 90 career TDs by scoring on the ground to cap the Chargers' first two drives. He added his 91st when he caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers with 3:58 left in the game.

    Merriman, trying to avoid a four-game suspension for a positive drug test, played with his usual urgency, sacking Marc Bulger three times, followed by his spasmodic "Lights Out" dance. Bulger was 27-for-40 for 327 yards and two touchdowns.

    Safety Marlon McCree also came up big for a defense missing two injured starters when he returned a fumble 79 yards for his second career touchdown.

    The Chargers (5-2) rebounded from a 30-27 loss the week before at AFC West rival Kansas City, when they committed three turnovers in the first quarter to fall behind 20-3. They tied it in the fourth quarter, then lost on a last-second field goal.

    While they were flying home, news broke that Merriman flunked a drug test. The star outside linebacker's appeal is scheduled for Nov. 7, so he'll also be able to play in next Sunday's home game against Cleveland. Merriman, the 2005 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, tested positive for the steroid nandrolone, which his attorney blamed on a tainted nutritional supplement.

    St. Louis (4-3), coming off its bye, lost consecutive games for the first time this year.

    Tomlinson also had three catches for 57 yards, and recovered an onside kick after the Rams pulled to 31-17 midway through the fourth quarter.

    Tomlinson cracked 100 yards rushing for the first time since he had 131 in a 27-0 laugher at Oakland on Sept. 11. Although his yards rushing are down, he has been a crucial part of San Diego's passing game, coming into Sunday's game with a team-high 32 catches, for 246 yards.

    Tomlinson scored on runs of 2 and 38 yards in the first quarter to give the Chargers a 14-yard lead.

    He broke a 51-yard run late in the third quarter to set up Nate Kaeding's 31-yard field goal.

    Merriman had two sacks in the first quarter and got his third on the opening possession of the second half, which forced the Rams to punt. Merriman also had three sacks in the win at Oakland.

    On their next possession, the Rams were at the Chargers 29 thanks to Isaac Bruce's 37-yard reception. Stephen Davis fumbled on the following play when he was hit by Jacques Cesaire. McCree emerged from the pile with the ball, broke one tackle and was gone, giving San Diego a 21-7 lead.

    St. Louis' Steven Jackson scored on a 3-yard run early in the second quarter, and Jeff Wilkins kicked a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter.

    Tomlinson's backup, Michael Turner, scored on a 14-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

    Bulger threw touchdown passes of 7 yards to Shaun McDonald and 6 yards to Kevin Curtis in the fourth period.
     

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