LaDainian Tomlinson

Last updated

LaDainian Tomlinson
LaDainian Tomlinson 2017 closeup.jpg
Tomlinson in 2017
Los Angeles Chargers
Position:Special assistant
Personal information
Born: (1979-06-23) June 23, 1979 (age 44)
Rosebud, Texas, U.S.
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: University (Waco, Texas)
College: TCU (1997–2000)
NFL draft: 2001  / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Career history
As a player:
As an executive:
Career highlights and awards
NFL records
  • Most rushing touchdowns in a season: 28 (2006)
  • Most touchdowns from scrimmage in a season: 31 (2006)
  • Most consecutive regular season games with a touchdown: 18 (tied with Lenny Moore)
  • Most points scored in a single season: 186 (2006)
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:13,684
Rushing average:4.3
Rushing touchdowns:145
Receptions:624
Receiving yards:4,772
Receiving touchdowns:17
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

LaDainian Tarshane Tomlinson (born June 23, 1979) is an American former professional football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 11 seasons. After a successful college football career with the TCU Horned Frogs, the San Diego Chargers selected him as the fifth overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft. He spent nine years with the Chargers, earning five Pro Bowl appearances, three Associated Press first-team All-Pro nominations, and two NFL rushing titles. Tomlinson was also voted the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2006 after breaking the record for touchdowns in a single season. He played two further seasons with the New York Jets, before retiring. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

Contents

A native of Rosebud, Texas, Tomlinson showed athletic promise while attending University High School. He was recruited by Texas Christian University (TCU). As a junior, Tomlinson rushed for 406 yards in a single game, a Division I record at the time. As a senior, he earned unanimous All-American honors, and won the Doak Walker Award as the best college running back. TCU retired his No. 5 in 2005, and he was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

The Chargers selected Tomlinson No. 5 overall after passing on the opportunity to select highly-rated quarterback Michael Vick. A starter in his rookie season, Tomlinson opened his career with the first of seven consecutive seasons with over 1,200 rushing yards, a streak achieved previously only by Eric Dickerson. He became a prolific scorer under Marty Schottenheimer, who coached the Chargers from 2002 to 2006. Tomlinson's output reached a peak in 2006, when he set numerous single-season records, including for most touchdowns scored (31). These feats won him the NFL MVP award, but San Diego suffered an upset defeat in their playoff opener, and Schottenheimer was fired shortly afterwards. Tomlinson became less central to the Charger offense in the following three seasons, and missed time through injury in key games. He was released following the 2009 season, played two seasons with the Jets, and retired.

Tomlinson was named to five Pro Bowls (2002, 2004–2007), was a first-team All-Pro three times (2004, 2006, 2007), and won consecutive rushing titles in 2006 and 2007. At the time of his retirement, he ranked fifth in career rushing yards (13,684), fifth in yards from scrimmage (18,456), second in career rushing touchdowns (145), and third in total touchdowns (162). Tomlinson also threw seven touchdown passes and ranks second behind Walter Payton (eight) for non-quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era. Tomlinson had his No. 21 retired by the Chargers in 2015 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017, his first year of eligibility.

Tomlinson is often known by his initials, L.T.. He works as an analyst on the NFL Network, and also serves as a special assistant to the Chargers' principal owner, Dean Spanos.

Early years

Tomlinson was born on June 23, 1979, in Rosebud, Texas, to Loreane Chappelle and Oliver Tomlinson. His mother worked as a preacher; his father left the family when Tomlinson was seven years old. [1] Tomlinson did not see his father very often afterward. [2] He grew up with a brother and a sister and later, also a half-sister and three half-brothers. [3] At age nine, Tomlinson joined the Pop Warner Little Scholars football program and scored a touchdown the first time he touched the ball. [1]

Tomlinson attended University High School in Waco, Texas, where he ran track and played basketball, baseball, and football. Tomlinson began his football career playing as both a linebacker and a fullback, [3] but blossomed on the offensive side of the ball; he was named to the District 10–4A second-team offense as a running back. [4] Tomlinson amassed 2,554 yards and 39 touchdowns his senior year, earning honors as the District 25-4A Most Valuable Player and the Super Centex Offensive Player of the Year. [5] [6] He was named to the state all-star football team in 1997, which included future San Diego teammates Drew Brees (Austin Westlake) and Quentin Jammer (Angleton). [7]

Tomlinson was an avid Dallas Cowboys and Miami Hurricanes fan during his youth. He idolized Walter Payton and admired Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown, and Barry Sanders. [6] [8] [9] Tomlinson was able to meet Smith while attending a camp run by Dallas Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek. [3]

College career

Tomlinson accepted an athletic scholarship at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, then a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). He played for the TCU Horned Frogs from 1997 to 2000. [10] Before Tomlinson's arrival, TCU had appeared in only one bowl game in the previous 12 seasons and two in the previous 31, losing both. [11] They had recently been downgraded to a minor conference (the WAC) after the breakup of the Southwest Conference. [12]

"What have we been playing college football, a hundred-and-something years and nobody has even been able to do what he did today."

—TCU head coach Dennis Franchione reacting to Tomlinson's record-breaking 406-yard performance against UTEP. [13]

During Tomlinson's freshman and sophomore years, he split time with Basil Mitchell and other backs, while the Horned Frog posted records of 1–10 and 6–5. [14] [15] The latter of these seasons finished with TCU's first bowl win in 42 years against the USC Trojans in the Sun Bowl, [16] [17] though Tomlinson only rushed for 34 yards in the game (Mitchell had 185 yards and two touchdowns). [18] Tomlinson was promoted to the starting running back role during his junior season, responding with 1,850 yards and 18 touchdowns as the Horned Frogs improved to 7–4. On November 20, he set an NCAA Division I record for most rushing yards in a game with a 43-carry, 406-yard, 6-touchdown performance against UTEP. [13] [lower-alpha 1] TCU ended the season with a 28–14 win against East Carolina in the 1999 Mobile Alabama Bowl. [21] His 20 rushing touchdowns were tied for the NCAA lead with Ron Dayne. He finished second in the NCAA in rushing to Dayne with 1,974 rushing yards. [22] He was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-WAC for the 1999 season. [23]

Tomlinson's senior season was one of great consistency. He went over 100 rushing yards and scored at least one touchdown in every game. He started his senior campaign with 24 carries for 176 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in a 41–10 victory over Nevada. [24] In the following game against Northwestern, he had 39 carries for 243 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 41–14 victory. [25] In the following game, a 52–3 victory over Arkansas State, he had 23 carries for 140 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. [26] TCU ended September with a perfect 4–0 mark with a 24–0 victory over Navy where Tomlinson had 33 carries for 121 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. [27] To start off October, Tomlinson had his best game of the season to that point with 49 carries for 294 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in a 41–21 victory over Hawaii. [28] In the next game, against Tulsa, he had 27 carries for 119 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in the 17–3 victory. [29] In the following game against Rice, he had 41 carries for 200 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 37–0 victory. [30] The victory over Rice marked a perfect October and a 7–0 start for TCU. The undefeated Horned Frogs reached a No. 9 ranking in the AP Poll, their highest since 1959. [31] TCU dropped their first game of the season in the following game against San Jose State. Tomlinson had 32 carries for 155 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 27–24 loss to the Spartans. [32] In the next game against Fresno State, he had 42 carries for 231 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in the 24–7 victory. [33] In the following game against UTEP, Tomlinson rushed 33 times for 305 yards and three touchdowns in the 47–14 victory. [34] TCU closed out their regular season with a 62–7 victory over SMU, where Tomlinson had 26 carries for 174 rushing yard and one rushing touchdown. [35] In the 2000 season, TCU again improved their record, going 10–1 and qualifying for their second consecutive Mobile Alabama Bowl. [36] [37] He led the NCAA for the second time with 2,158 yards and 22 touchdowns, [38] adding 28 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns in his final game with TCU, [39] a 28–21 defeat in the Mobile Alabama Bowl. [40] He was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American. [41] He won the Doak Walker Award and the Jim Brown Trophy as the nation's best running back, [42] and was a finalist for the 2000 Heisman Trophy, [38] but came in fourth in the voting. [43] Tomlinson also repeated as WAC Offensive Player of the Year and as an All-WAC first-team selection. [44] [45]

Tomlinson completed his career at TCU with 5,263 rushing yards, ranking sixth in NCAA Division I history at the time. [46] He had one more game before becoming a professional, taking part in the 2001 Senior Bowl on January 21. Tomlinson rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for a further 28 yards, earning the game's MVP award and helping the South beat the North 21–16. [47]

TCU retired his No. 5 during halftime of a November 2005 game against UNLV. [48] He was their single-game, single-season, and career record holder in both rushing touchdowns and rushing yards, amongst other records. [49] In December of that year, Tomlinson fulfilled a promise to his mother by earning his degree in communications from TCU. [50] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on December 9, 2014. [51]

College statistics

TCU Horned Frogs
SeasonTeamGPRushingReceiving
AttYdsAvgTDRecYdsTD
1997 TCU 111265384.36111090
1998 [lower-alpha 2] TCU 111447175.086340
1999 [lower-alpha 3] TCU 112681,8506.91812550
2000 [lower-alpha 4] TCU 113692,1585.82210400
Totals [10] [lower-alpha 5] 449075,2635.854392380

College awards and honors

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
HeightWeightArm lengthHand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press Wonderlic
5 ft 10+14 in
(1.78 m)
221 lb
(100 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.46 s1.54 s2.59 s4.21 s6.84 s40.5 in
(1.03 m)
10 ft 4 in
(3.15 m)
18 reps13
All values from the NFL Combine [58] [59] [60]

2001 NFL draft

After a 1–15 record in 2000, the San Diego Chargers had the first pick in the 2001 NFL draft. [61] Quarterback was a weakness, with 1998 first-round pick Ryan Leaf considered a draft bust as he was cut after three unsuccessful seasons; [62] Charger quarterbacks had combined for a league-high 30 interceptions in 2000. [63] However, running back was also an area of need, [64] with their team total of 1,062 yards the fewest recorded in a 16-game season. [65] They were expected to use the No. 1 pick on quarterback Michael Vick, [66] but preliminary contract negotiations with the player broke down, and general manager John Butler instead accepted a trade offer from the Atlanta Falcons; the Chargers' first-round pick (No. 1 overall) was exchanged for Atlanta's first-round pick (No. 5 overall), as well as their third-round pick in 2001, their second-round pick in 2002, and wide receiver/kick returner Tim Dwight. [67] [68]

San Diego had shown interest in Tomlinson even before the trade with Atlanta. [69] They selected him fifth overall, after the Cleveland Browns (picking third, and potentially interested in a running back) chose Gerard Warren instead. [70] Instead of Vick, San Diego selected Drew Brees in the second round as their future quarterback. [71] Chargers head coach Mike Riley stated that Tomlinson was the player the team had wanted after they'd made the trade. Tomlinson himself expressed relief at being passed on by the Browns. Of joining a one-win team, he said, "At TCU my freshman year, we were 1–10. I know what it takes to rebuild a program." [72]

San Diego Chargers

Tomlinson warming up during his tenure with the Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson-Aug-2-08-Practice.jpg
Tomlinson warming up during his tenure with the Chargers

2001 season

Tomlinson was a holdout through much of training camp, while his agent Tom Condon negotiated with the Chargers. [73] He eventually signed a six-year, $38 million contract on August 21. [74] He had missed the first two preseason games, and was kept on the bench for the third, [75] before featuring briefly in the final game, rushing five times for 14 yards in a defeat to the Arizona Cardinals. [76]

On September 9, Tomlinson made his regular season debut in a 30–3 victory over the Washington Redskins. He was immediately given a heavy workload, carrying 36 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns in the 30–3 victory. [77] The 36 carries were tied for the third-most in franchise history up to that point, [78] while the 113 yards were a new record for a Charger in his first career game. [79] Tomlinson followed this by rushing for 90, 107, and 102 yards in the following three games. [80] He added four more touchdowns; in a week 3 win against the Cincinnati Bengals, he posted the first three-touchdown game by a Charger running back since Natrone Means in 1994. [81] Four games into his career, Tomlinson was the league leader in both rushing yards with 412 and rushing touchdowns with six, and had already surpassed the 384 yards with which third-down back Terrell Fletcher led the team the previous season. [82]

Tomlinson's pace slowed during the remaining twelve weeks of the season, with only four more touchdowns and one more 100-yard rushing game, which came in week 15 against the Kansas City Chiefs. [83] Nonetheless, his total of 1,236 was the second-most in franchise history, behind only Means in 1994; with a further 367 receiving yards, Tomlinson had 1,603 yards from scrimmage, breaking the franchise record that Lance Alworth had set in 1965. [84] San Diego finished the season with a nine-game losing streak and a 5–11 record. [85] Tomlinson said of breaking Alworth's record, "It means a lot to me and the people who helped me get it. But I just wish I could have gotten it in a winning season when it means more." [86]

League-wide, Tomlinson finished ninth for rushing yards and tied-fourth for rushing touchdowns. However, his yards per carry of 3.6 was only 31st among players with at least 100 carries, and his eight fumbles, one of which was returned for a key touchdown in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, [87] were joint-most among non-quarterbacks. [88] Tomlinson led the league in touches (rushing attempts and receptions combined) with 398, and ranked ninth for yards from scrimmage. [89] He received 16 votes for the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award, finishing second to Anthony Thomas (22 votes). [90] Thomas and Tomlinson were the two running backs named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie team. [91]

2002 season

A day after their final game of 2001, the Chargers fired head coach Mike Riley, [92] replacing him with Marty Schottenheimer, recently dismissed as Washington's head coach. [93] Schottenheimer brought with him a reputation for favoring the running game over the pass. [94] Tomlinson said of his new coach, "I think he knows how to win, and he's been doing it for a number of years. ... I think that is the kind of coach that we need." [95] At his Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement speech in 2017, Tomlinson would describe Schottenheimer as the best coach he ever had. [3]

Tomlinson tied or broke numerous franchise records during the season. Tomlinson started the season strong with 21 carries for 114 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown to go along with three receptions for 45 receiving yards in the 34–6 victory over Cincinnati. [96] In week 4, he had 27 carries for 217 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in a 21–14 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, tying Gary Anderson for the most yards in a single game by a Charger. [97] For his game against the Patriots, he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. [98] [99] In week 7, he tied Marion Butts's record with 39 carries in a game, rushing for 153 yards and scoring the winning touchdown as San Diego beat the Oakland Raiders 27–21 in overtime. [100] With five catches in the same game, he had 44 touches in total, breaking another Means record. [101]

"There is no question that a number of those runs, including that long one in the first half, was the product of his determination and heart that he isn't going on the ground."

Marty Schottenheimer reacting to Tomlinson's 48-touch, 271-yard performance against Denver. [102]

In week 13, Tomlinson had 37 carries for 220 yards and three touchdowns, as well as 11 catches for 51 yards, helping San Diego beat the Denver Broncos in overtime. He had the longest run of his career to that point one play after Denver had taken a 10–0 lead, going for 76 yards and setting up his first touchdown. Tomlinson's rushing yardage broke the record he had tied in week 4, [103] while his 271 yards from scrimmage broke Wes Chandler's Charger record for a regular season game. [lower-alpha 6] With 48 touches, he broke the franchise record he had set in week 7 and also tied James Wilder's NFL record. [101] [105] Denver had entered the game with the league's top-ranked run defense. [102] For his game against the Broncos, he earned his second AFC Offensive Player of the Week nomination. [106] [107]

San Diego was 8–4 after beating the Broncos, but lost their last four in a row to miss the playoffs. [108] Tomlinson nonetheless passed Means' franchise record for rushing yardage in a season with three games still to play, [109] and finished with 1,683 yards, [110] second-most in the league. [111] His yards per carry improved by almost a full yard, to 4.5, while his 14 rushing touchdowns were another franchise record. [112] As well as his rushing feats, Tomlinson also tied Ronnie Harmon's Charger record for receptions by a running back, with 79. [113] He again led the league in touches with 451, which proved to be a career-high; it was also the third-most in NFL history at the time. [114] Tomlinson became the first Charger to gain 2,000-plus yards from scrimmage, [115] with his total of 2,172 ranking third in the league. [116] He also improved his ball security, fumbling only three times. [110]

Tomlinson was rewarded for his performances with his first Pro Bowl nomination (together with Junior Seau, he was one of only two Chargers so honored), [117] as well as being named an Associated Press (AP) 2nd-team All-Pro. [118]

2003 season

MartySchottenheimer8-15-2013.jpg
Lorenzo Neal (cropped) II.jpg
Tomlinson had some of his most productive years under the leadership of head coach Marty Schottenheimer (left) and behind the blocking of fullback Lorenzo Neal (right).

During the 2003 offseason, San Diego signed Lorenzo Neal, a fullback who had blocked for 1,000-yard rushers in each of his previous six seasons, and was coming off his first Pro Bowl nomination. [119] Tomlinson would later describe Neal as vital to the progression of his career, and chose the fullback to introduce him on the day of his induction into the Hall of Fame. [120]

The Chargers struggled throughout the 2003 season, finishing 4–12. [121] Nonetheless, Tomlinson continued to produce strong individual performances. In week 4, he threw the first touchdown pass of his career, a 21-yard throw to Brees, on a trick play, as well as rushing for 187 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Oakland. [122] In week 6 against the Cleveland Browns, he rushed 26 times for 200 yards and a touchdown while leading the Chargers to their first win of the year; [123] in total, Tomlinson accounted for 221 of the Chargers' 289 yards in the 26–20 victory. [124] He was named AFC Offensive Player of the week for his game against the Browns. [125] In week 10, against the Minnesota Vikings, he had 16 carries for 162 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 42–28 victory. [126] The top two receiving performances of his career (measured by yards) arrived back-to-back in weeks 14 and 15; [127] he had nine catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns against the Detroit Lions, [128] and 11 catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers. [129] Tomlinson entered the regular season finale against the Raiders needing eight more catches to become the first NFL player to have 1,000 rushing yards and 100 receptions in the same season. He achieved this, getting his 100th catch on the Chargers' final offensive play of the game (excluding quarterback kneels). [130] [lower-alpha 7] In the same game, he improved upon his franchise record with 243 yards from 31 carries, with two touchdowns. [132] This would remain Tomlinson's career high. [127]

Tomlinson finished with 1,645 rushing yards, third-most in the league. [133] He averaged 5.3 yards per carry, the sixth-highest among backs with 100-plus carries; this would be the best average of his career. [110] His receiving numbers were career highs: 100 receptions, 725 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns. [110] The 100 receptions placed him fourth in the league; the rest of the top ten were all wide receivers. [134] He broke Tony Martin's franchise record of 90 receptions in 1995. [lower-alpha 8] Tomlinson had 2,370 yards from scrimmage, leading the league; [136] it was the second-highest total in NFL history up to that point. [lower-alpha 9] He had five games with at least 200 yards from scrimmage during the season, another league record. [138] Tomlinson scored 17 total touchdowns, tied for third in the league and another new career high. [139]

Tomlinson was not voted to the Pro Bowl in 2003, which was seen as a snub by multiple observers; Tomlinson himself expressed disappointment, saying, "I think all those guys deserve to be there, but are they better than me? Nope." [140] However, he was named a Second-team Associated Press All-Pro for the second season in a row, [141] and was runner-up to Jamal Lewis for the AP Offensive Player of the Year Award with eight votes. [142] [143]

2004 season

On August 14, Tomlinson signed an eight-year contract worth $60 million, with $21 million guaranteed. It was the richest contract for a running back up to that point. [144]

Tomlinson scored consistently throughout the season, with either one or two touchdowns in fourteen games, including a twelve-game streak from weeks 4 to 16. [145] He again had a big performance against the Raiders, rushing 37 times for 164 yards and a touchdown during a 23–17 victory in week 10. [146] San Diego clinched the AFC West division in week 15, with a 21–0 win in the snow over Cleveland; it was their first playoff berth since 1995, ending an eight-year drought. [147] [148] Tomlinson, who rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the game, said, "I've only been here four years, but in some ways it feels like eight. To go from where we were to this is awesome. I've dreamed of the playoffs for a long time, but it's only been a dream." [149]

Tomlinson's yardage numbers were down from the previous season, with 1,335 rushing (7th in the league) [150] and 441 receiving, in part because he was rested in the regular season finale, [151] though his yards per carry dropped significantly to 3.9, and he had barely half as many receptions with 53. [110] However, he led the NFL in rushing touchdowns for the first time with 17. [150] His 1,776 scrimmage yards were tied for fifth in the league, while his 18 total touchdowns ranked second. [152] Tomlinson earned his second Pro Bowl nomination, and rewarded his offensive line with an expenses-paid trip to Hawaii, the site of the game. [153] He was voted Associated Press First-team All-Pro for the first time in his career. [154]

Tomlinson's first playoff experience came in 2004. [149] San Diego hosted the New York Jets in the first round of the playoffs, losing 20–17 in overtime. [155] Tomlinson rushed 26 times for 80 yards, and caught nine passes for 53 yards, scoring no touchdowns. During the sudden-death overtime period, San Diego gained a first down at the New York 22; Tomlinson ran three times for no gain before rookie kicker Nate Kaeding came in for a game-winning field goal attempt. Kaeding missed wide right, and New York drove for the winning points. [156] Schottenheimer was criticized after the game for playing too conservatively with the three Tomlinson runs. [157]

2005 season

Tomlinson began the 2005 season on a regular season twelve-game streak of scoring at least one rushing touchdown, one short of the NFL record held by John Riggins and George Rogers. [158] [lower-alpha 10] He tied and later broke the record in the first two weeks of the season, though the Chargers lost both games. [160] [161] In week 3, Tomlinson rushed 21 times for 192 yards and three touchdowns and threw a 26-yard touchdown to Keenan McCardell as San Diego defeated the New York Giants 45–23. [162] He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his game against the Giants. [163] After scoring in the next two games, Tomlinson entered week 6 looking to tie Lenny Moore's NFL record of 18 consecutive regular season games with a touchdown of any type. [164] In the game, a 27–14 win at Oakland, Tomlinson tied the record and became the tenth player in NFL history to run, catch, and throw for a touchdown in the same game. [165] [166] He earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his game against Oakland. [167] [168]

Tomlinson's touchdown streak came to an end the following week, as he was shut down in a 20–17 loss at Philadelphia, gaining only seven yards from 17 carries. [169] It would be the only game in his career where Tomlinson had at least ten carries and averaged below a yard per attempt. [127] He credited the Eagles' defense after the game, saying, "They brought the blitz. They got into the backfield. They really controlled the line of scrimmage." [169] Tomlinson threw his third touchdown pass of the season the following week against Kansas City, [170] and had the first four-touchdown game of his career in a 31–26 win over the Jets, with three rushing touchdowns and one receiving. [171] He was the first Charger since Chuck Muncie in 1981 to score four in a game. [172] In week 12, Tomlinson rushed 25 times for 184 yards and three touchdowns, including a 41-yard game-winner in overtime as San Diego won 23–17 at Washington. [173] For his game against Washington, Tomlinson earned his third AFC Offensive Player of the Week nomination of 2005. [174] After the game, Schottenheimer declared him the finest running back he'd ever seen. [175] However, Tomlinson had no 100-yard rushing games and only a single touchdown over the remaining five games of the season, three of which the Chargers lost as they finished 9–7 and missed the playoffs. [176] He was carrying an injury for much of this period, after picking up a rib injury in week 13 against the Raiders. [177] His ribs were initially described as bruised, but later revealed to have been cracked. [178]

Tomlinson's rushing totals were 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns, ranking sixth and third in the league respectively. [179] With two receiving touchdowns, he had 20 in total; [110] this broke Chuck Muncie's franchise record, set in 1981. [178] He ranked third in the league, behind Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander, who set a new NFL record with 28. [180] [181] Tomlinson again made the Pro Bowl, [182] and was named an Associated Press second-team All-Pro. [183]

2006 season: NFL MVP

Tomlinson takes a handoff from Philip Rivers in 2006. LT Chargers.jpg
Tomlinson takes a handoff from Philip Rivers in 2006.

San Diego changed starting quarterbacks in 2006. Brees had injured his shoulder in the 2005 finale; after negotiations for a new contract with Chargers general manager A. J. Smith broke down, Brees was allowed to leave in free agency, paving the way for 2004 No. 4 overall draft pick Philip Rivers to take over. [184] [185] Tomlinson spoke positively about Rivers in the leadup to the season, saying, "He's going to be a great quarterback because the intangibles he has are what the great ones have." [186] However, Tomlinson would suggest in a 2016 interview with ESPN that the switch cost San Diego a Super Bowl win, stating that Rivers was too inexperienced at the time. [187]

The Chargers began their regular season with a 27–0 win at Oakland, with Tomlinson rushing 31 times for 131 yards and a touchdown. [188] The following week, in a 40–7 victory over the Tennessee Titans, he scored twice to tie Lance Alworth's franchise record of 83 touchdowns. [189] [190] Following a bye week, Tomlinson was kept out the end zone in week 4 (a 16–13 loss at Baltimore) [191] and week 5 (a 23–13 win over Pittsburgh, in which he gained a season-low 36 rushing yards). [192] [193] While he only ran for 71 yards on 21 carries the following week against the San Francisco 49ers, Tomlinson had four rushing touchdowns, tying the Charger single-game record of Clarence Williams and Chuck Muncie while moving ahead of Alworth on the career total touchdowns list. [194] [195] [196] In the following game, he caught one touchdown and threw for another as San Diego erased a 14-point, 4th-quarter deficit in Kansas City, though they went on to lose 30–27 to a late field goal. [197]

After the Kansas City game, Tomlinson rushed for at least two touchdowns and at least 100 yards for the next eight games in a row, all Charger wins. [193] He began the sequence against the St. Louis Rams, rushing for 183 yards and two touchdowns, adding a further 57 receiving yards and a third touchdown, and recovering a late onside kick attempt by the Rams in the 38–24 victory. [198] In the following game against the Cleveland Browns, Tomlinson's first nine carries gained a modest 47 yards, but his following nine went for 125 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 172 yards in total at a season-high 9.56 yards per carry. [193] He again recovered a late onside kick attempt by the opposition in the 32–25 victory. [199] He earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his game against the Browns. [200] [201] In week 10, San Diego trailed the Bengals 21–0 after a single quarter, but came back to win 49–41. [202] Tomlinson rushed for four of the Chargers' seven touchdowns, including a pair 15 seconds apart that put them ahead for the first time. [203] In week 11, they faced Denver in a division-topping battle of 7–2 teams. Again, they overcame a large deficit, trailing 24–7 in the third quarter before winning 35–27. [204] Tomlinson scored four touchdowns, with three on the ground and one via a 51-yard catch-and-run. Rivers described him after the game as "the best in the business" and "the ultimate weapon". [205] With his second score against Denver, Tomlinson became the fastest player ever to score 100 touchdowns, accomplishing the milestone in 89 games and beating the previous record of 93 games held by Jim Brown and Emmitt Smith. [206] He earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his game against the Broncos. [207] [208] Next, he accounted for all the Chargers' points in a 21–14 defeat of Oakland, running for two touchdowns and throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates. [209] After running for 178 yards and two touchdowns in a 24–21 victory in Buffalo, he had 26 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns on the season, only two behind the record Alexander had established in 2005. [210] [211]

"When we're old and can't play this game anymore, them are the moments we are going to remember, that we'll be able to tell our kids, tell our grandchildren. We can talk about something special that we did. We made history today."

—Tomlinson, after breaking the NFL record for touchdowns in a single season. [212]

San Diego had a chance to clinch the AFC West by beating Denver in week 14. Tomlinson scored once as they built an early 28–3 lead. Denver had a run of 17 unanswered points in the third quarter, but Tomlinson's record-tying 28th touchdown made the game safe at 41–20 in the final minutes. [213] A fumble recovery by Shawne Merriman soon afterward gave San Diego the ball on the Denver seven-yard line. [212] The next play was designed as an inside run, but Tomlinson broke to the left after his lead blocker Neal slipped over. [214] He scored the record-breaking touchdown in the corner of the end zone—his second in 47 seconds—before being mobbed by his teammates and lifted shoulder-high. [212] Tomlinson was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his effort against the Broncos. [213] [215] After his retirement, Tomlinson listed the game as his most memorable with the Chargers. [214]

Tomlinson broke three more records the following week, while rushing 25 times for a season-high 199 yards and two touchdowns in a 20–9 victory over the Chiefs. [193] His first touchdown took him past Paul Hornung's 46-year-old record of 176 points in a season (Tomlinson finished with 186). His second touchdown was the longest of his career at 85 yards; [216] that was his 28th rushing touchdown of the season, passing Alexander and Priest Holmes, and also gave him multiple touchdowns in eight consecutive games, breaking a tie with Riggins. [217] Tomlinson's streak of rushing touchdowns came to an end the following week, as he was kept out of the end zone in a 20–17 victory at Seattle, [218] though he did extend his streak of 100-yard rushing games to a franchise-record nine. [lower-alpha 11] In the regular season finale against the Arizona Cardinals, Tomlinson left the game with a minor injury in the third quarter after rushing for 66 yards and no touchdowns in the 27–20 victory; [220] that was still enough to give him the NFL rushing title, the first Charger to accomplish the feat. [lower-alpha 12] [222]

Tomlinson against the Cleveland Browns in 2006. He scored 3 of his NFL single-season record 31 touchdowns in the game. LaDainian Tomlinson vs Cleveland (cropped).jpg
Tomlinson against the Cleveland Browns in 2006. He scored 3 of his NFL single-season record 31 touchdowns in the game.

Tomlinson led the league with 1,815 rushing yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry and scoring a record 28 rushing touchdowns. [223] He added 56 catches for 508 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns, with his average of 9.1 yards per catch the highest of his career up to that point. [110] Tomlinson ranked second in the NFL with 2,323 yards from scrimmage; he had 404 touches in total, fumbling only twice. [224] As a team, San Diego finished with a 14–2 record, the best winning percentage in their history, while topping the league with 492 points and claiming the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. [225] Including his two passing touchdowns, Tomlinson was directly involved with 33 of their league-leading 59 touchdowns. [226]

On January 5, 2007, Tomlinson was named the Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player for his record-breaking season, receiving 44 of the 50 votes from a panel of nationwide sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL. [227] Accepting the award, Tomlinson said that he'd had a great year on a great team, adding, "I would feel so much better about winning if we win the Super Bowl." He was the first Chargers player to win the award. [227] Other organizations to name Tomlinson the NFL MVP included the Pro Football Writers of America, [228] the Sporting News , [229] and the Maxwell Football Club via the Bert Bell Award. [230] The Associated Press also honored him as the Offensive Player of the Year and a unanimous 1st-Team All-Pro. [231] Tomlinson was also named co-winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award alongside Brees, now quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, [232] and was voted to his fourth Pro Bowl. [233] On July 11, 2007, Tomlinson won four ESPY Awards including Male Athlete of the Year. [234]

Tomlinson's second playoff game came at home in the divisional playoffs against New England. It was another narrow defeat, this time by a 24–21 scoreline, with Kaeding missing a potential game-tying 54-yard field goal in the final seconds. [235] Tomlinson's good form continued, as he carried 23 times for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns while catching two passes for 64 yards; he accounted for over half of the Chargers' 352 yards from scrimmage. [236] After the game, the usually mild-mannered Tomlinson shouted at New England players celebrating on the Chargers midfield logo at Qualcomm Stadium by mocking Merriman's sack dance, and suggested Patriots head coach Bill Belichick might be to blame in a post-match interview. "They showed no class at all, and maybe that comes from the head coach," said Tomlinson. [235] Both Tomlinson and Belichick said that they'd put the incident behind them while they were together in Hawaii the following month for the Pro Bowl. [237]

LaDainian Tomlinson's 2006 touchdowns week by week [193]
Week number124567891011121314151617Divisional
playoffs
Rushing124234322322
Receiving111
Passing11

2007 season

Tomlinson and other Chargers defended Schottenheimer after their swift exit from the 2006 playoffs, [238] but the coach was nonetheless fired by team president Dean Spanos on February 12, 2007. [239] A dysfunctional relationship between Schottenheimer and general manager A. J. Smith was among the reasons given by Spanos. [240] Norv Turner, who was the San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator in Tomlinson's rookie season, replaced Schottenheimer as head coach a week later. "Norv is the perfect fit for our team. He will know exactly what to do with our team," Tomlinson said of the hiring. [241]

Tomlinson struggled for much of the opening game, finishing with 17 carries for only 25 yards. [242] However, he did throw the seventh and final touchdown pass of his career (a 17-yarder to Gates), [243] and scored once himself as San Diego beat the Chicago Bears 14–3. [244] In week 2, they travelled to New England for a rematch of the Divisional Round with the Patriots. It was the first game the Patriots played after being sanctioned for the Spygate incident; Tomlinson again criticized the organization, commenting, "I think the Patriots actually live by the saying, 'If you're not cheating, you're not trying.'" [245] New England won the game 38–14, with Tomlinson rushing 18 times for 43 yards. [246] In week 6, he again had a big game against the Raiders, rushing 24 times for 198 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. [247] That would be one of only two 100-yard rushing performances in the first eleven games for Tomlinson, [248] who ranked only sixth in the league for rushing yardage with five games to go. [249]

In a week 12 win at Kansas City, Tomlinson gained 177 yards on 23 carries and scored twice, passing Walter Payton on the all-time career rushing touchdown list with his 111th. [250] A day later, Tomlinson honored Payton by wearing his jersey during a press conference. [250] The following week, San Diego trailed 17–3 against the Tennessee Titans with eight minutes to play, before Tomlinson scored on a seven-yard touchdown catch. After Gates tied the score with nine seconds to play, the game went into overtime. Tomlinson won the game with a 16-yard touchdown run. [251] It was the third overtime touchdown of his career, a record. [252] He rushed 26 times for 146 rushing yards in that game, and added two further 100-yard performances for a streak of four in a row. [248] While he only gained 56 yards in the regular season finale, [253] Tomlinson's late flurry was enough to win him his second NFL rushing title in a row; the Chargers finished with six straight wins, won the AFC West, and entered the playoffs as the No. 3-seed with an 11–5 record. [254] [255]

Tomlinson was involved in a pair of sideline incidents with Rivers over the course of the season. In an early-season loss to the Packers, the two appeared to argue on the sideline; Tomlinson dismissed the interaction as "competitive talk". [256] Later, during the overtime win in Tennessee, Tomlinson got up and walked away immediately after Rivers sat near to him on the bench. [257] Both players downplayed the incident, with Tomlinson explaining that he had left because he had just finished a conversation with Neal. [258]

While Tomlinson's rushing statistics of 1,474 yards and 15 touchdowns were both well short of his 2006 performances, he still led the league in both areas, [259] and became the first player since Edgerrin James in 1999 and 2000 to win back-to-back rushing titles. [260] During that year, Tomlinson became the 23rd player to reach 10,000 rushing yards in NFL history, as well as the fourth fastest, [261] while his career-opening streak of seven consecutive seasons with at least 1,200 rushing yards had previously been achieved only by Eric Dickerson. [262] With 60 receptions for a further 475 yards and 3 touchdowns, Tomlinson ranked second in the NFL for both yards from scrimmage (1,949) and total touchdowns (18). He had zero fumbles for the first time in his career, despite a league-high 375 touches. [263] Tomlinson was nominated for his fifth and final Pro Bowl and, unanimously, his third and final AP 1st-Team All-Pro squad. [264] [110] He was also awarded the Bart Starr Award for his work on and off the field. [265]

Tomlinson had 21 carries for 42 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown and caught three passes for 19 receiving yards in the Chargers' 17–6 Wild Card Round victory over the Titans. [266] He scored his touchdown on fourth and goal with San Diego leading 10–6 in the final quarter, leaping over the pile and reaching across the goal line. [267] It was the Chargers' first playoff win since the 1994 AFC Championship Game, and the first of Tomlinson's career. He said of the result, "It didn't come easy, but I tell you, I'm just happy to get that first one." [266] The following week, Tomlinson carried seven times for 28 rushing yards and caught a 20-yard pass, before injuring his knee and leaving the game in the second quarter of the Chargers 28–24 Divisional Round win at the Indianapolis Colts. [268] The injury proved to be a medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain. [269] [270]

Tomlinson attempted to play through his injury in the following week's AFC Championship, and had two carries for five rushing yards and a one-yard catch but re-injured the knee and sat out the rest of the game. [271] The Chargers lost to the New England Patriots, 21–12. [269] [272] Tomlinson was criticized for sitting on the Chargers' bench with his helmet and a dark visor still over his head, as well as for failing to play through the injury, in contrast to Rivers, who played the whole game. [273] [274] Hall of Fame ex-NFL cornerback Deion Sanders, then working for the NFL Network, said, "Now what's the problem? You're a big-time player, and big-time players must play big-time games." Tomlinson called the comments ridiculous, saying, "He's never been a running back and had a sprained MCL." [275] During the game, the Chargers notified the press box that Tomlinson was set to return, adding to the perception that his injury was not serious. [273] Turner defended Tomlinson, saying, "I know some of it goes back on us in terms of how it was communicated during the game ... If that injury would have happened in week 2, he probably would have missed six weeks." [276]

2008 season

Tomlinson warming up in 2008 Tomlinson warming up.jpg
Tomlinson warming up in 2008

Neal, who had missed time in 2007 with a broken fibula, was released by the Chargers during the offseason, leaving rookies Mike Tolbert and Jacob Hester to serve as Tomlinson's lead blockers. [277] [278] Tomlinson himself declared his knee to 100% recovered after offseason rehabilitation, [279] but jammed his big toe during an opening day 26–24 loss to the Carolina Panthers. [280] The new injury persisted throughout the season. [281] In week 4, Tomlinson had 13 carries for 31 yards through the first three quarters, and the Chargers trailed 15–3 in Oakland. He added seven carries for 75 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, helping San Diego to a 28–18 win. [282] [283] That was one of only two 100-rushing performances by Tomlinson all season. [284] The Chargers also struggled as a team during a 4–8 start, but won three consecutive games to set up a winner-takes-all week 17 game against Denver for the AFC West title. [285] [286] [287] Tomlinson rushed 14 times for 96 rushing yards, and had what would be the final three-touchdown game of his career as San Diego won 52–21. [127] [288] However, he picked up a groin injury while scoring the last touchdown and again entered the playoffs carrying an injury. [289]

Tomlinson ended the regular season with career-lows in attempts (292) and rushing yards (1,110, ranking tenth in the league), while his 11 rushing touchdowns (seventh in the league) and 3.8 yards per carry were both the least since his rookie year. [290] [110] His 344 touches, 1,536 scrimmage yards, and 12 total touchdowns also represented a clear drop from the previous season. [291] The Charger offense became more focused on Rivers, who led the league in touchdowns and passer rating while throwing for over 4,000 yards. [292] [293]

In the Wild Card Round against the Colts, Tomlinson rushed five times for 25 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown before his groin injury forced him out of the game. [294] [295] His replacement Darren Sproles ran for over 100 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime as San Diego won 23–17. [296] Tomlinson revealed after the game that his injury, previously reported as a strain, was actually a torn tendon; he described it as the toughest injury of his career. [297] The following week, Tomlinson was unable to play at all in the Chargers' Divisional Round game in Pittsburgh, a 35–24 defeat. [298]

2009 season

"That's the class that he shows ... I wanted to come down here and show mine ... I'm happy that he did it. It makes it special, because he's a good human being. He's a class individual, and I hope in these later years y'all treat him that way."

Jim Brown, after witnessing Tomlinson passing him as the eighth leading rusher in NFL history on December 6, 2009. [299]

The offseason began with contract negotiations for Tomlinson, as Smith and Spanos hoped to restructure his existing contract and free up more salary cap space. [300] Relations between Smith and Tomlinson were strained throughout the process. Smith was reported to have been angered when Tomlinson revealed the full extent of his injury before the Divisional Round game against Pittsburgh the prior season. [301] When Tomlinson release a statement expressing his desire to remain in San Diego, Smith appeared to mock him when he responded to an interview question using very similar wording. [302] Smith later apologized to Tomlinson, and the two sides came to an agreement on a restructured version of his three-year contract on March 10. Tomlinson said in another statement, "My heart has always been in San Diego. I couldn't imagine putting on another uniform." [303]

In week 1, Tomlinson rushed 13 times for 55 yards in Oakland, with a touchdown and a lost fumble in the 24–20 victory. [304] [305] It would be the only time all season that he averaged over four yards per carry in a game. [306] He suffered an ankle injury in the Oakland game and missed the next two weeks while recovering. [307] In his first game back, he rushed seven times for 15 yards in a 38–28 loss at Pittsburgh. [308] [309] His most productive rushing performance came in week 10 against Philadelphia, when he ran 24 times for 96 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 31–23 victory. [310] The touchdowns gave him a total of 146 for his career, passing Marcus Allen for third place in NFL history. [311] In week 13, Tomlinson scored his 150th career touchdown in a 30–23 win at Cleveland; he was the quickest to reach that milestone, doing so in his 137th game. [312] He rushed for 64 yards in the game, enough to lift him past both Marshall Faulk and former Cleveland Brown Jim Brown into eighth place on the career rushing yardage list. [313] [314] Brown was present in the stadium; Tomlinson pointed up to Brown after passing him and tapped his heart to show respect. Brown visited the Charger locker room to give his congratulations after the game. [299]

At the regular season's end, Tomlinson had new career lows in rushing attempts (223), yards (730) and yards per attempt (3.3), as well as receptions (20) and receiving yards (154). [110] Two years after his second rushing title, he ranked only 29th in the league for rushing yards, although his 12 rushing touchdowns were joint-fifth in the league. [315] That gave him nine consecutive 10-touchdown seasons, a record. [316] San Diego's offensive line was impacted by injuries during the season, [317] [318] [319] and the team as a whole averaged a league-worst 3.3 yards per rushing attempt; by contrast, their 8.0 yards per pass play led the league. [320] Despite Tomlinson's limited contributions, San Diego finished the season with 11 straight wins, a 13–3 record, and their fifth AFC West title in six seasons. [321] [322] Tomlinson stated that he had accepted his reduced role in the team. [323]

Tomlinson's last playoff game with the Chargers was similar to his first: a three-point defeat at home against the New York Jets, this time by a 17–14 margin. Tomlinson had little impact on the game, with 12 carries for 24 yards and three receptions for no yards. [324] He was booed by Chargers fans after what would be his final carry for the team, a 1-yard gain in the final quarter. [325] [326] He said of the defeat, "To lose this game, I'm at a loss for words." [324]

Departure from San Diego

On January 31, Tomlinson was named to the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team after leading the league with 12,490 rushing yards in the 2000s, 1,797 more than runner-up Edgerrin James. [327] His 138 rushing touchdowns during the decade set an NFL record for any decade, and were 38 more than any other player in the 2000s. [328] [329] However, there was speculation as to whether Tomlinson would play for the Chargers again, with the player himself saying that he expected to be let go. [330]

The Chargers released Tomlinson on February 22, 2010, after nine seasons with the team. [331] Many experts attributed his decline to his age (30) and injuries. [331] [332] In his farewell news conference, Tomlinson said his production declined after the 2006 season when Schottenheimer departed. He felt that the team's focus on running dropped under Turner; [332] in a later interview, he said, "In San Diego, everything was taken away from me. There wasn't an emphasis on running the ball, my best fullback (Neal) was gone, the linemen were pass blocking, we had a passing coach." [333] The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote in response that Tomlinson enjoyed success in his rookie season with Turner as offensive coordinator, as well as in Turner's first season as San Diego's head coach in 2007. The article also cited Turner's history of coaching 1,000-yard rushers, including Emmitt Smith's three NFL rushing titles. [318] A. J. Smith commented, “It’s the team that will win a world championship, not a bunch of individuals.” [334] Tomlinson later clarified that he had not been questioning his offensive line's ability to run block; he expressed a desire to eventually retire as a Charger, but acknowledged a rocky relationship with Smith and stated he felt disrespected by Smith's past comments. [335]

New York Jets

2010 season

"I believe he's got a lot more left. When you watch him out here bouncing around doing a great job with protections, running the football, he's still got that wiggle."

Rex Ryan on Tomlinson, after watching him in training camp, May 27, 2010. [336]

Tomlinson entered the free-agent market for the first time in his career, expressing excitement at the future and a desire to win a Super Bowl. [337] After the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings emerged as Tomlinson's most likely destinations, he met with both teams and signed a two-year, $5.2 million contract with the Jets on March 14, 2010. [338] He was expected to back up second-year running back Shonn Greene; [339] the Jets had released five-time 1,000 yard rusher Thomas Jones the previous month when he refused to take a pay cut to serve as Greene's backup. [340] Tomlinson chose to sign with New York because of his familiarity with the system of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, his enthusiasm for the defense- and run-focussed philosophy of head coach Rex Ryan, and because he felt that the team offered him the best chance to win a championship. [333] He added that he believed he and Green would form a successful partnership. [341]

The Jets lost 10–9 to the Baltimore Ravens on Tomlinson's debut; he rushed 11 times for 62 yards, and was the only Jets running back to have a carry after Greene lost a fumble in the second quarter. [342] In week 4, Tomlinson recorded his first 100-yard rushing game in nearly two years against the Buffalo Bills, running 19 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns in the 38–14 victory. [343] He said of the performance, "I never lost confidence. I always knew I could do it. It was just about having an opportunity." [344] For his game against the Bills, Tomlinson earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week. [345] Tomlinson's first five games of the season were his most productive in terms of rushing yards, [346] as he ranked fifth in the league with 435 yards at 5.7 yards per carry. [347]

While Tomlinson's output reduced over the remainder of the season, [346] he nonetheless improved upon his last year with the Chargers by rushing for 914 yards at 4.2 yards per carry, while catching 52 passes for 368 yards. [110] Tomlinson stayed injury-free, missing only the regular season finale when he was rested with the Jets assured of a wildcard appearance in the playoffs. [348] He did score less frequently than in any of his seasons in San Diego, with only six touchdowns. [110] Brought in to complement Greene, Tomlinson was the Jet's leading rusher, outgaining his backfield partner by 148 yards from 34 more carries. As a team, the Jets ranked fourth in the NFL for rushing yards (though they had been first in 2009) and 11th for total yardage (up from 20th in 2009). [349] [350] [351] [352] He continued to move up the NFL's career rushing yardage leaderboard during the season, passing Tony Dorsett and Eric Dickerson to reach sixth place. [344] [353] He received the Dennis Byrd Award as the Jets' most inspirational player after a vote of his teammates. [354]

The Jets opened their postseason campaign with a 17–16 win at Indianapolis in the AFC Wild Card Round. Tomlinson rushed 16 times for 82 and both Jets touchdowns, and New York won on a 23-yard Nick Folk field goal as time expired. [355] Tomlinson recorded his best rushing output since week 5. [346] Next, the Jets travelled to New England for the Divisional Round. They were heavy underdogs, having lost 45–3 to the Patriots in week 13; [356] [357] [353] Tomlinson spoke of the matchup as an opportunity to redeem himself after having to leave the AFC Championship Game against the same team three seasons earlier. He rushed ten times for 43 yards, and caught a seven-yard touchdown from Mark Sanchez in a 28–21 win. [358] In the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Jets were down 24–10 in the fourth quarter when Tomlinson was unable to score a touchdown on a fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. [359] The Jets went on to lose 24–19; Tomlinson finished with nine carries for 16 rushing yards. [360]

2011 season

Tomlinson in 2011 with the Jets. LT jets (cropped).jpg
Tomlinson in 2011 with the Jets.

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said after the 2010 season that he expected Tomlinson back for 2011 but "things could change." [361] With Greene designated as the starting running back for 2011, Tomlinson began the season as a third-down back with more emphasis on being a receiver. [362] In the season-opening win over the Dallas Cowboys, he rushed only five times for 16 rushing yards but caught six passes for 73 receiving yards in the 27–24 victory. [363] Tomlinson, who was 32 years old at the start of the season, said that running routes out of the backfield was something he'd always wanted to do as he got older, and that he embraced the change. [364] The opening game set the pattern for the season, as he went on to gain more yardage by receiving than rushing in nine of the fourteen games that he played. In week 3, Tomlinson had the third 100-yard receiving game of his career, [127] catching five passes for 116 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in a 34–24 loss at Oakland to continue the pattern of success against the Raiders he had established as a Charger. [365] In the game against Oakland, Tomlinson tied his career-high for longest receiving play with a 74-yard reception. [366] In week 7, he faced his former team for the only time in a 27–21 victory for the Jets in New York. Missing part of the game due to illness, he gained 51 yards from scrimmage; of beating the Chargers after they'd released him, he commented, "I'd be lying if I said this didn't add some extra satisfaction." [367]

In week 10 against New England, Tomlinson passed Barry Sanders (18,190 yards) for fifth on the all time yards from scrimmage list, [368] though he picked up a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury during that game and missed the next two contests against Denver and Buffalo. [369] [370] In his second game back after the injury, Tomlinson scored the 162nd and final touchdown of his career, on a 19-yard catch from Sanchez. [216] In week 14, the Jets defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 37–10 to improve their record to 8–5, [371] but lost their following two games to the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants, and needed to win their regular season finale at Miami to have any chance of making the playoffs. [372] In the game, Tomlinson had his most rushing attempts (11) and yards (56) of the season, adding 4 catches for 23 yards. [127] However, New York lost to Miami by a score of 19–17, ending their season. [373] Tomlinson made a final move up the career rushing yards leaderboard during the game, passing Jerome Bettis (13,662) for fifth place. [374]

Tomlinson finished his final season with 75 carries for 280 rushing yards and a single rushing touchdown, all career lows. [375] Greene, now the main running back, had over 1,000 yards, but the Jets rushing attack was ranked only 22nd in the league, while their offense as a whole was 25th. [376] [377] Tomlinson's new pass-catching role yielded 42 catches for 449 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns; he averaged 10.7 yards per reception, a career-high. [110] His teammates again voted him the winner of the Dennis Byrd Award. [378]

Retirement

Tomlinson at The Celebration of Life for Junior Seau held at Qualcomm Stadium in 2012 LaDainian Tomlinson 2012.jpg
Tomlinson at The Celebration of Life for Junior Seau held at Qualcomm Stadium in 2012

Tomlinson's contract with the Jets expired after the 2011 season. In the aftermath of the season-ending loss in Miami, he said that he would need three or four weeks to decide whether to retire or not. [373] On May 11, Tomlinson returned to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego to speak at a memorial for former Charger Junior Seau, who had been a positive influence on Tomlinson during his rookie season. [379] [214] On June 18, he signed a ceremonial one-day contract with the San Diego Chargers and then immediately announced his retirement. [380] Chargers president Dean Spanos said that no other Charger would ever wear Tomlinson's No. 21. [381]

Former teammates including Rivers, Gates and three offensive linemen from his 2006 season were present at Tomlinson's farewell press conference, as were his wife, mother and children. Recalling the words of Seau at his own retirement, Tomlinson described the act as graduating to the next phase of his life. Of his failure to win a Super Bowl, he said, "I'm OK with never winning a Super Bowl championship. I know we've got many memories that we can call championship days." [381]

Legacy and playing style

At the time of his retirement, Tomlinson ranked fifth in NFL history in career rushing attempts (3,174) [382] and yards (13,684), and second in career rushing touchdowns (145). [381] He had 47 100-yard rushing games, and three 100-yard receiving games. [127] He also ranked third for receptions by a running back, catching 624 passes for 4,772 yards and a further 17 touchdowns. [383] Overall, he ranked fourth in career touches (3,798), fifth in yards from scrimmage (18,456), and third in total touchdowns (162). [384] [381] He was only the second player to rush for at least 13,000 yards and catch passes for at least 4,000 yards, following Payton. [385] Completing his reputation as a versatile back, [386] Tomlinson completed 8 of 12 passing attempts in his career for seven touchdowns and no interceptions. Only Payton, with eight, had more touchdown passes among non-quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era. [387] His playoff performances were less impressive, as he was injured in 2007 and 2008 and only rushed for 100 yards once in ten postseason games. [388] [127] [389]

Chart showing Tomlinson's career touchdown tally after each game of his career. Rushing and receiving touchdowns are both included. LaDainian Tomlinson career touchdowns by career games.png
Chart showing Tomlinson's career touchdown tally after each game of his career. Rushing and receiving touchdowns are both included.

Tomlinson was noted for consistently playing well against the Oakland Raiders. [247] [390] In nineteen games against them, he rushed for 2,055 yards, at an average of 108.2 yards per game, well above his career average of 80.5 yards per game. He also rushed for 22 touchdowns, caught four, and threw another three, in each case more than his total against any other single team. [391]

An elusive runner in the open field who would use stiff arms to break tackles, [392] Tomlinson was also effective as a power back on inside runs. [393] In goal-line situations, he would often leap directly over the line of scrimmage to score. [195] He wore a distinctive dark visor for the majority of his career, to prevent migraines caused by stadiums lights; this benefitted him as it prevented defenders from reading his eyes. [394] When scoring, Tomlinson would frequently perform his own "teardrop" celebration, [395] placing his left hand behind his head and flipping the ball with his right. [396] He was often known by his initials, L.T., a nickname he shared with Hall of Fame New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. [397]

In 2005, Schottenheimer described Tomlinson as the finest running back he'd seen, arguing that past greats such as Jim Brown and Gale Sayers hadn't had to contend with defenders of the same size and speed. [175] When Tomlinson's number was retired in 2015, a trio of analysts on NFL.com placed him 3rd, 7th, and 8th respectively on their lists of top running backs in the Super Bowl era. [398] [399] In 2021, the statistical site Pro-Football-Reference.com ranked him as the fifth-best running back in NFL history. [400] An NFL Network show, The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players , aired in 2010 and ranked Tomlinson No. 61 among all positions, [401] while a 2019 USA Today poll placed him at No. 54. [402] However, he was not among the ten running backs named to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. [403]

The Chargers formally retired his number in 2015, while also inducting him into their Hall of Fame. [404] Tomlinson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017, his first year of eligibility. [405] After thanking his family, as well as former coaches and teammates, Tomlinson spoke about his ancestors who had worked as slaves in a plantation in Tomlinson Hill and issued a call for racial unity, saying, "On America's team, let's not choose to be against one another. Let's choose to be for one another. My great‑great‑great‑grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to be the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind, leading the way for all nations to follow." [3]

NFL career statistics

Legend
AP NFL MVP
NFL record
Led the league
BoldCareer high

Regular season

YearTeamGamesRushingReceivingPassingFumbles
GPGSAttYdsAvgLngTDRecYdsAvgLngTDCmpAttPctYdsTDIntRtgFumLost
2001 SD 16163391,2363.65410593676.227085
2002 SD 16163721,6834.57614794896.230131
2003 SD 16163131,6455.373131007257.373411100.02110158.320
2004 SD 15153391,3353.94217534418.37411250.0380095.862
2005 SD 16163391,4624.36218513707.34123475.04730153.131
2006 SD 16163481,8155.28528565089.15132366.72020125.021
2007 SD 16163151,4744.74915604757.936311100.01710158.300
2008 SD 16162921,1103.84511524268.232110
2009 SD 14142237303.33612201547.7360010.000039.622
2010 NYJ 15132199144.2316523687.121040
2011 NYJ 141752803.72014244910.774200
Career 1701553,17413,6844.3851456244,7727.6741781266.714370146.93112

Postseason

YearTeamGamesRushingReceivingFumbles
GPGSAttYdsAvgLngTDRecYdsAvgLngTDFumLost
2004 SD 1126803.11209535.910000
2006 SD 11231235.315226432.058000
2007 SD 3330752.51215408.020010
2008 SD 115255.013100
2009 SD 1112242.050300.03000
2010 NYJ 33351414.02326193.213110
Career 10101314683.6236251767.058120
Tomlinson threw for seven touchdowns in his career. Tomlinson warming up 1.jpg
Tomlinson threw for seven touchdowns in his career.

NFL records

Franchise records

The Chargers credit Tomlinson with numerous records. Career figures discount his two seasons with the New York Jets.

  • Rush Attempts: career (2,880), season (372 in 2002), game (39 in 2002; tied with Marion Butts), [426] playoff game (26 in 2004 wild card round). [427]
  • Rush Yards: career (12,490), season (1,815 in 2006), game (243 in 2003). [428]
  • Rushing TDs: career (138), season (28 in 2006), game (4, achieved three times; tied with Clarence Williams and Chuck Muncie), [428] playoffs (4). [427]
  • 100+ yard rushing games: career (46), season (10 in 2006), consecutive (9 in 2006). [428]
  • 200+ yard rushing games: career (4). [428]
  • Yds from Scrimmage: career (16,445), season (2,370 in 2003), game (271 on December 1, 2002, against the Denver Broncos). [429]
  • Total TDs: career (153), season (31 in 2006), [428] playoffs (4, tied with three others). [427]
  • 100+ yards from scrimmage games: career (79), season (14 in 2006), consecutive (11, 2006). [429]
  • 200+ yards from scrimmage games: career (12). [429]
  • Points: season (186 in 2006) [428]

Awards and honors

Tomlinson being tackled by Jeremiah Trotter at the 2006 Pro Bowl. Ldt tackle.jpg
Tomlinson being tackled by Jeremiah Trotter at the 2006 Pro Bowl.

Personal life

Tomlinson in 2004 LTByPhilKonstantin.jpg
Tomlinson in 2004
External videos
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg After Words interview with Chris Tomlinson on Tomlinson Hill, conducted by Lavar Tomlinson, June 23, 2014, C-SPAN

Tomlinson is a Christian. [434] Tomlinson was introduced to his future wife, LaTorsha Oakley, while the two were students at TCU. [435] The couple married on March 21, 2003, [436] and have two children: a son born in 2010 and a daughter in 2011. [437] [362] In 2007, Tomlinson's father Oliver Tomlinson and brother-in-law Ronald McClain died in an auto accident. [438] [439]

During his playing career, Tomlinson was featured in commercials for Nike, [440] Campbell Soup, [441] and Vizio. [442] In April 2007, CNBC reported that Tomlinson turned down a request to become the cover athlete for EA Sports' Madden NFL 08 video game, as the money offered was not enough to justify the promotional work involved. [443]

In August 2012, Tomlinson joined the cast of NFL Network's Sunday morning show "First on the Field" as an analyst. [444] As of 2022, he is still with the network. [445] He covers Chargers preseason games as an analyst with CBS. [446]

Tomlinson wrote the foreword for Chris Tomlinson's book Tomlinson Hill, which traces the story of two families—one white and one black—from a plantation in Tomlinson Hill, Texas. The plantation was owned by Chris' great-great-grandparents, while LaDainian descended from a slave owned by Chris' ancestors. [447] In 2016, Tomlinson was cast in the feature film God Bless the Broken Road . [448] [449] While originally announced for a 2016 release, it was finally released in September 2018. [448]

Tomlinson has his own charitable foundation. The foundation helps high school and college students, provides meals for people who are homeless or poor, and raises money for after-school programs and other causes. It focuses its efforts in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Texas. [450] The charity was cited as a reason for Tomlinson receiving the Bart Starr Award in 2008. [265]

In 2017, the Los Angeles Chargers announced that Tomlinson was joining the team as a special assistant to ownership. The role involves attempting to build a new fanbase after the Chargers' move to Los Angeles. [451]

Tomlinson's nephew, Tre Tomlinson, followed in his footsteps by playing at TCU, where he earned All-Big 12 honors three times playing cornerback and won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2022 as the nation's best defensive back. [452] Tre was drafted in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. [453]

See also

Notes

  1. The record stood until 2014, when it was broken in consecutive weeks by Melvin Gordon (408 yards) and Samaje Perine (427 yards). [19] [20]
  2. Not including bowl stats: 12 carries, 34 yards; 1 reception, 25 yards. [18]
  3. Not including bowl stats: 36 carries, 124 yards, 2 touchdowns; 4 receptions, 29 yards. [52]
  4. Not including bowl stats: 28 carries, 118 yards, 2 touchdowns. [39]
  5. Bowl games not included, but noted separately in the Season column. College football did not include statistics from these until 2002. [53]
  6. Keith Lincoln had 329 yards in a postseason game, the 1963 AFL Championship Game. [104]
  7. This feat has since been replicated by other players. Matt Forte was the next, in 2014. [131]
  8. Keenan Allen broke Tomlinson's record in 2017. [135]
  9. Marshall Faulk had 2,429 yards in 1999. [137]
  10. Tomlinson's failure to score during week 17 of the 2004 season did not end the streak, as he was inactive for the game. [159]
  11. Natrone Means had the previous record, with five straight 100-yard games. [219]
  12. Paul Lowe and Dickie Post both won AFL rushing titles. [221]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul Lowe</span> American football player (born 1936)

Paul Edward Lowe is an American retired professional football player who was a halfback in the American Football League (AFL), primarily with the Los Angeles / San Diego Chargers. A four-time All-AFL selection and two-time AFL All-Star, he was named to the AFL All-Time Team.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dan Fouts</span> American football player and broadcaster (born 1951)

Daniel Francis Fouts is an American former professional football quarterback who played for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL) throughout his 15-season career (1973–1987). After a relatively undistinguished first five seasons in the league, Fouts came to prominence as the on-field leader during the Chargers' Air Coryell period. He led the league in passing every year from 1979 to 1982, passing for over 4,000 yards in the first three of these—no previous quarterback had posted consecutive 4,000-yard seasons. Fouts was voted a Pro Bowler six times, first-team All-Pro twice, and Offensive Player of the Year in 1982. He was named a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team, and elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, his first year of eligibility.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antonio Gates</span> American football player (born 1980)

Antonio Ethan Gates Sr. is an American former professional football tight end for the San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers during his entire career in the National Football League (NFL). He was named to the Pro Bowl eight times and was a six-time All-Pro selection. He retired on January 14, 2020, after 16 years with the Chargers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip Rivers</span> American football player (born 1981)

Philip Michael Rivers is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 17 seasons, primarily with the Chargers franchise. He played college football for the NC State Wolfpack and was selected fourth overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, who traded him to the San Diego Chargers during the draft. Rivers was a member of the Chargers for 16 seasons and played his final season for the Indianapolis Colts. Since 2021, he has served as the head football coach at St. Michael Catholic High School.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lorenzo Neal</span> American football player (born 1970)

Lorenzo LaVonne Neal is an American former football fullback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for sixteen seasons. Neal played college football for the Fresno State Bulldogs and was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. A four-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro, he was also a member of the New York Jets, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tennessee Titans, the Cincinnati Bengals, the San Diego Chargers, the Baltimore Ravens and the Oakland Raiders. Considered one of the best blocking fullbacks in NFL history, Neal blocked for a 1,000-plus-yard running back in eleven straight seasons from 1997 to 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Turner (American football)</span> American football player (born 1982)

Michael “the Burner” Turner is an American former football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Northern Illinois Huskies, earning second-team All-American honors in 2003. He was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft, and also played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons. He was a two-time All-Pro and a two-time Pro Bowl selection with the Falcons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lionel James</span> American football player (1962–2022)

Lionel "Little Train" James was an American professional football player who was a running back for the San Diego Chargers in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Auburn Tigers. Undersized at 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m) and 171 pounds (78 kg), he spent his entire five-year NFL career with the Chargers from 1984 to 1988. His best year as a pro came during the 1985 season, when he set then-NFL season records for receiving yards by a running back and all-purpose yardage. He also led the American Football Conference (AFC) in receptions that year.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2006 San Diego Chargers season</span> NFL team 47th season

The 2006 season was the San Diego Chargers' 37th season in the National Football League (NFL), and the 47th overall. They improved on their 9–7 record in 2005 and finished the campaign as the No. 1 seed in the AFC ending the season at 14–2, the best record in the NFL in 2006. Their two regular season losses were by a combined 6 points. The team would experience a brutal home-field playoff loss for the second time in the past three seasons losing in the final minutes, this time to the New England Patriots 24–21. This was the first of four consecutive AFC West titles for the Chargers.

Donald Ray Woods is a former American football running back who played for the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1974 to 1980.

The 2007 season was the San Diego Chargers' 38th in the National Football League (NFL) and their 48th overall. After four games, the team failed to equal their 14–2 2006 regular season record, as they immediately stumbled to a bad 1–3 start under new head coach Norv Turner. However, they finished the regular season strongly by winning 10 of 12 games to take the AFC West title. The Chargers went further in the playoffs than the previous year, but fell again to the New England Patriots, this time in the AFC Championship game. For the second consecutive season, star running back LaDainian Tomlinson led the NFL in rushing with 1,474 yards. In the offseason, the Chargers introduced a new logo, with the lightning bolt changing to yellow with bright blue and regular blue outlines. It would be their logo for 10 years.

Jermaine Fazande is a former American football running back of the National Football League (NFL). He was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oklahoma.

The 2002 season was the San Diego Chargers' 33rd in the National Football League (NFL), their 43rd overall and their first under head coach Marty Schottenheimer. Their stadium, Qualcomm Stadium, hosted Super Bowl XXXVII at the end of the season, but the Chargers' failure to secure a playoff berth marked the 18th straight season that the Super Bowl did not include the team in whose region the game was being played. Their division was reduced to four teams at the start of the season, with the Seattle Seahawks moving to the NFC. Despite going into their bye week with a 6–1 record, the Chargers suffered a late-season collapse, winning just two out of their last nine games after their bye week and missing the postseason.

The 2001 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 32nd season in the National Football League (NFL) and the 42nd overall and the third and final season under head coach Mike Riley. The team improved on their 1–15 record in 2000 to finish 5–11 but missed the playoffs for the 6th straight year. It was Mike Riley's final season as the team's head coach. At the end of the season running back LaDainian Tomlinson won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Despite finishing 5–11 after losing their final nine games of the season, eight of the Chargers' losses were by less than a touchdown, five of them were by three points, and three of them were by ten points.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1994 San Diego Chargers season</span> NFL team 35th season

The 1994 San Diego Chargers season was the team's 35th, its 25th in the National Football League (NFL), and its 34th in San Diego. It featured a surprising run to the Super Bowl, where San Diego lost to the San Francisco 49ers. To date, this is the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1965 San Diego Chargers season</span> NFL team season

The 1965 San Diego Chargers season was their sixth as a professional AFL franchise; the team improved on their 8–5–1 record in 1964. Head Coach Sid Gillman led the Chargers to their fifth AFL West title with a 9–2–3 record, before losing the AFL Championship Game to the Buffalo Bills for the second consecutive season. It would prove to be the Chargers' last post-season appearance until 1979.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ryan Mathews (American football)</span> American football player (born 1987)

Ryan Jefforey Mathews is an American former football running back. He played college football for the Fresno State Bulldogs, earning second-team All-American honors in 2009. Mathews was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the first round, 12th overall, in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2011.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keenan Allen</span> American football player (born 1992)

Keenan Alexander Allen is an American football wide receiver for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at California before leaving after his junior year. He was selected by the then San Diego Chargers with the 12th pick in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Allen won multiple rookie honors after setting Chargers' records for receptions and receiving yards by a rookie. In 2017, he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

The Chargers–Chiefs rivalry is an American football rivalry between the National Football League (NFL)'s Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. Since the American Football League (AFL) was established in 1960, the Chargers and the Chiefs have shared the same division, first being the AFL Western Conference, and since the AFL–NFL merger, the American Football Conference (AFC) West. Following the Raiders' move to Las Vegas (Chiefs) and the Rams' return to Los Angeles, they are now the farthest apart two teams in the same division.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Austin Ekeler</span> American football player (born 1995)

Austin Ekeler is an American football running back for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Western Colorado Mountaineers and signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2017.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2006 AFC Divisional playoff game (New England–San Diego)</span> Notable football game between the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers

On January 14, 2007, the New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers played an AFC Divisional Playoff game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The game is remembered for a play that occurred midway through the 4th quarter. On 4th and 5 with 6:25 remaining and the Chargers leading 21–13, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was intercepted at the Chargers' 30-yard line by safety Marlon McCree, only for McCree to be stripped of the ball shortly thereafter by wide receiver Troy Brown. Fellow wide receiver Reche Caldwell recovered the fumble, securing a new set of downs for the Patriots. The Patriots' reborn drive would end in a touchdown and ensuing two-point conversion, and the Patriots went on to win 24–21 after Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding missed a last-second 54-yard field goal.

References

  1. 1 2 Savage, Jeff (2009), LaDainian Tomlinson , Lerner Publishing Group, pp. 9–10, ISBN   978-0-8225-9989-0 , retrieved February 23, 2023 via Internet Archive
  2. Edwards, Ethan (2008). Meet Ladainian Tomlinson: Football's Fastest Running Back. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 6. ISBN   978-1-4042-4491-7.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "LaDainian Tomlinson – Class of 2017". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  4. "District 10-4A". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. December 25, 1995. p. B-11.
  5. Tomlinson, Loreane (2009). LT & Me: What Raising a Champion Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Listening to Your Dreams. Tyndale House Publishers. p. 103. ISBN   978-1-4143-3361-8.
  6. 1 2 "Jock Bio: LaDainian Tomlinson", JockBio.com, Black Book Partners, archived from the original on October 8, 2010, retrieved October 30, 2010
  7. "Football All-Stars" (PDF). Texas High School Coaches Association.
  8. Trotter, Jim (February 2, 2005). "Tomlinson among those shocked by Smith news". The San Diego Union-Tribune . Archived from the original on August 21, 2009. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  9. Zimmerman, Chad (September 1, 2005). "LaDainian Tomlinson's Off-Season Training Plan". Magazine.Stack.com. Stack. Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  10. 1 2 "LaDainian Tomlinson College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  11. "TCU Horned Frogs Football Record By Year". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  12. Hicks, Phil (August 18, 2001). "Horned Frogs ready for WAC". Tyler Courier-Times. p. III-1 via Newspapers.com.
  13. 1 2 Garcia, Arthur (November 21, 1999). "No stopping him". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. pp. 1CC, 4CC via Newspapers.com.
  14. "1997 TCU Horned Frogs Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  15. "1998 TCU Horned Frogs Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  16. "TCU runs hot and cold in bowls". ESPN.com. December 28, 2001. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  17. "TCU Horned Frogs Bowls". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  18. 1 2 "Individual statistics". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. August 29, 2022. p. 10D via Newspapers.com.
  19. "Melvin Gordon sets FBS rushing record with 408 yards vs. Huskers". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 15, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  20. "Oklahoma's Samaje Perine breaks FBS rushing record with 427 yards". USA TODAY. Associated Press. November 22, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  21. "TCU handles Pirates, 28–14". Paris News. Associated Press. December 23, 1999. p. 11A via Newspapers.com.
  22. "1999 Leaders". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2022.
  23. 1 2 3 "Rainbows, Bulldogs top All-WAC teams". Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Associated Press. December 1, 1999. p. 14 via Newspapers.com.
  24. "Texas Christian at Nevada Box Score, September 9, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  25. "Northwestern at Texas Christian Box Score, September 16, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  26. "Arkansas State at Texas Christian Box Score, September 23, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  27. "Texas Christian at Navy Box Score, September 30, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  28. "Hawaii at Texas Christian Box Score, October 7, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  29. "Texas Christian at Tulsa Box Score, October 21, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  30. "Rice at Texas Christian Box Score, October 28, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  31. "TCU Horned Frogs AP Poll History". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  32. "Texas Christian at San Jose State Box Score, November 4, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  33. "Fresno State at Texas Christian Box Score, November 11, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  34. "Frog's Tomlinson tears up UTEP". Austin American-Statesman. Associated Press. November 19, 2000. p. D5 via Newspapers.com.
  35. "Texas Christian at SMU Box Score, November 24, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  36. "Mobile Alabama Bowl – Texas Christian vs Southern Mississippi Box Score, December 20, 2000". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  37. "2000 TCU Horned Frogs Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  38. 1 2 Hawkins, Stephen (December 5, 2000). "TCU back Tomlinson among Heisman Trophy candidates". McAllen Monitor. Associated Press. p. 4B via Newspapers.com.
  39. 1 2 "Individual statistics". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. December 21, 2000. p. 10D.
  40. "Southern Miss slips past TCU". Marshall News-Messenger. Associated Press. December 21, 2000. p. 1B via Newspapers.com.
  41. "Award winners" (PDF). ncaa.org. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  42. "TCU scouting report". Arizona Republic. December 20, 2000. p. C8 via Newspapers.com.
  43. "2000 Heisman Trophy Voting". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  44. 1 2 3 "Bowl blitz". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. December 20, 2000. p. 2H via Newspapers.com.
  45. "WAC Offensive Player of the Year Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  46. "LT by the numbers". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. December 21, 2000. p. 11D via Newspapers.com.
  47. 1 2 "Tomlinson MVP at Senior Bowl". Battle Creek Enquirer. Associated Press. January 21, 2001. p. 6C via Newspapers.com.
  48. Our All-Time Numbers Archived December 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine from TCU Magazine, obtained December 18, 2006.
  49. "7: Record Book". TCU: 2006 Football (PDF). Texas Christian University. 2006. p. 123. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  50. Mauch, Rick (July 28, 2017). "Hall of Fame: TCU running back Tomlinson headed to Canton". Fort Worth Business Press. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  51. 1 2 McMurphy, Brett (May 22, 2014). "College Football HOF reveals class". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on May 23, 2014.
  52. "TCU 28, E. Carolina 14". Galveston Daily News. December 23, 1999. p. B2 via Newspapers.com.
  53. "NCAA changes policy on football stats". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 28, 2002. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  54. "Consensus All-America Teams (2000–2009)". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  55. "Doak Walker Award Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  56. 1 2 3 4 Dodson, Dee (February 23, 2016). "2011 Alumni Awards – LaDainian Tomlinson". TCU Magazine. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  57. Reeves, Jim (December 21, 2000). "Frogs leave nothing but question marks". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. pp. 1D, 11D via Newspapers.com.
  58. "LaDainian Tomlinson, Texas Christian, RB, 2001 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  59. "LaDainian Tomlinson Combine Results RB – Texas Christian". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  60. "Liccing My Wounds". Sports Illustrated Vault | Si.com. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  61. "2000 San Diego Chargers Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  62. Scholfield, Steve (March 1, 2001). "Chargers finally dump meathead". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-6 via Newspapers.com.
  63. "2000 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  64. Wilson, Bernie (February 18, 2000). "Chargers contemplate future with or without Leaf". Great Falls Tribune. Associated Press. p. 6S via Newspapers.com.
  65. "Fewest rushing yards, team, season". stathead.com. Retrieved August 28, 2022 via Newspapers.com.
  66. Norwood, Robyn (April 20, 2001). "Now everything seems to be up in air". Los Angeles Times. p. D4 via Newspapers.com.
  67. Paris, Jay (April 21, 2001). "Vick not the pick for SD Chargers". North County Times. pp. A-1, A-4 via Newspapers.com.
  68. "2001 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  69. Shappell, Lee (April 20, 2001). "Charges may pass on Vick". Arizona Republic. p. C6. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
  70. Goldberg, Dave (April 22, 2001). "Atlanta's new bird". Chillicothe Gazette. p. 3B via Newspapers.com.
  71. Sullivan, Mike (April 22, 2001). "First day of draft a Brees for San Diego". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-6 via Newspapers.com.
  72. Paris, Jay (August 22, 2001). "Bolts get their man in TCU's Tomlinson". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-6 via Newspapers.com.
  73. Paris, Jay (July 31, 2001). "Rookies playing hooky". Temecula Californian. pp. C-1, C-2 via Newspapers.com.
  74. "Tomlinson agrees with Chargers, Cowboys cut tight end LaFleur". Greenwood Commonwealth. Associated Press. August 22, 2001. p. 11 via Newspapers.com.
  75. Paris, Jay (August 24, 2001). "Tomlinson finally punches the clock". North County Times. p. C-5 via Newspapers.com.
  76. Baum, Bob (September 1, 2001). "Cards ruin Tomlinson's debut, defense too much for Chargers". Arizona Daily Star. Associated Press. p. C6 via Newspapers.com.
  77. Perry, Tony (September 10, 2001). "Chargers get it right on first try this time". Los Angeles Times. p. D8 via Newspapers.com.
  78. "Most carries, game, Chargers, through 2001". stathead.com. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  79. "Most rushing yards, first career game, Chargers". stathead.com. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  80. "LaDainian Tomlinson 2001 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  81. "Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers – September 30th, 2001". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  82. "When the Chargers run". Boston Globe. October 14, 2001. p. C6 via Newspapers.com.
  83. "San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs – December 23rd, 2001". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2022.
  84. "Chargers Single Season Scrimmage Yards Leaders". StatMuse. Retrieved November 28, 2022.
  85. "San Diego Chargers 2001 Games and Schedule". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  86. Mullins, Steve (December 31, 2001). "Tomlinson scampers past 'Bambi'". Temecula Californian. p. C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  87. Paris, Jay (December 10, 2001). "Chargers' season deep-sixed". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  88. "2001 NFL Rushing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  89. "2001 NFL Scrimmage Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  90. "A-Train gets offensive rookie honors". Salinas Californian. Wire reports. January 16, 2002. p. 4B via Newspapers.com.
  91. Schleiden, Keith (January 25, 2002). "2001 All-Rookie team". McAllen Monitor. p. PFTW-2 via Newspapers.com.
  92. Wilson, Bernie (January 1, 2002). "Chargers fire Riley". Palm Springs Desert Sun. Associated Press. p. C1 via Newspapers.com.
  93. "San Diego gets its Marty". Toronto National Post. January 30, 2002. p. B9 via Newspapers.com.
  94. Brandner, Eric (July 21, 2002). "Spurrier searches for a quarterback". Carlisle Sentinel. p. J15 via Newspapers.com.
    "Team-by-team draft breakdown". Charlotte Observer. April 22, 2002. p. 7C via Newspapers.com.
  95. Paris, Jay (April 6, 2002). "Bolts get their first taste of playing for Schottenheimer". North County Times. p. C-5 via Newspapers.com.
  96. "San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals – September 8th, 2002". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2022.
  97. Paris, Jay (September 20, 2002). "Bolts are nobody's patsy". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-4 via Newspapers.com.
  98. "New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers – September 29th, 2002". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  99. "2002 NFL week 4 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  100. "Charged up". Carbondale Southern Illinoisan. Associated Press. October 22, 2002. p. 3D via Newspapers.com.
  101. 1 2 "Chargers with 40+ touches, game". stathead.com. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  102. 1 2 Hiro, Brian (December 2, 2002). "Tomlinson continues to amaze". North County Times. p. C-4 via Newspapers.com.
  103. Paris, Jay (December 2, 2002). "Bolts boot Broncos out of first". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  104. "Most yards from scrimmage, game, Chargers". stathead.com. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  105. "NFL Touches Single Game Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  106. "Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers – December 1st, 2002". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  107. "2002 NFL week 13 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  108. Paris, Jay (December 30, 2002). "No joke: another choke". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  109. Hiro, Brian (December 9, 2002). "L.T.'s team record doesn't come easy". North County Times. p. C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  110. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 "LaDainian Tomlinson stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  111. "2002 NFL Rushing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  112. "Most rushing touchdowns, season, Chargers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  113. Hiro, Brian (December 30, 2002). "Tomlinson short of rushing crown". North County Times. p. C-2 via Newspapers.com.
  114. "NFL Single-Season Touches Leaders Through 2002". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  115. "2,000+ yards from scrimmage in a season, Chargers". stathead.com. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  116. "2002 NFL Scrimmage Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  117. "Bolting for the Pro Bowl". North County Times. December 20, 2002. p. C-1 via Newspapers.com.
  118. "2002 AP All-Pro team list". Staunton Daily News Leader. January 5, 2003. p. B2 via Newspapers.com.
  119. Paris, Jay (March 1, 2003). "Neal inks with Bolts". Temecula Californian. p. C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  120. "Lorenzo Neal: "Humbled, surprised" to introduce L.T." Sports Illustrated. August 5, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  121. "2003 San Diego Chargers Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  122. Paris, Jay (September 29, 2003). "Four! Chargers not up to par vs. Raiders". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  123. Paris, Jay (October 20, 2002). "It's about Dawg-gone time". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  124. "San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns – October 19th, 2003". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  125. "2003 NFL week 7 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  126. "Minnesota Vikings at San Diego Chargers – November 9th, 2003". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  127. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "LaDainian Tomlinson Career Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  128. Paris, Jay (December 8, 2003). "Barry, Barry good". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-4 via Newspapers.com.
  129. Paris, Jay (December 15, 2003). "Favre carves up Bolts". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  130. "Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers" (PDF). NFL.com. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  131. "Players with 1,000+ yards and 100+ receptions in a season". stathead.com. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  132. Paris, Jay (December 29, 2003). "Bottoms up for Bolts". North County Times. pp. C-1, C-4 via Newspapers.com.
  133. "2003 NFL rushing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  134. "2003 NFL rushing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  135. "90+ reception seasons, Chargers". stathead.com. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  136. "2003 NFL scrimmage stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  137. Paris, Jay (December 29, 2003). "Tomlinson's big season". North County Times. p. C-4 via Newspapers.com.
  138. "Most 200+ yard games, season". stathead.com. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  139. "2003 NFL Scoring Summary". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  140. Tomlinson, Dylan B. (December 26, 2003). "Rams rise to top of NFC". Appleton Post-Crescent. p. 10 via Newspapers.com.
    Goldberg, Dave (December 19, 2003). "Big teams get small nods". Passaic Herald-News. Associated Press. p. C6 via Newspapers.com.
    Paris, Jay (December 19, 2003). "L.T., Chargers snubbed". Temecula Californian. pp. C-1, C-4 via Newspapers.com.
  141. "AP All-Pro team". Pensacola News Journal. January 6, 2004. p. 2D via Newspapers.com.
  142. Ginsberg, David (January 1, 2004). "Jamal Lewis now expects to run for 2,000 yards". Bridgewater Courier-News. Associated Press. p. C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  143. "2003 Awards Voting". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  144. "LT signs record-breaking contract". Santa Clarita Signal. Associated Press. August 15, 2004. p. B5 via Newspapers.com.
  145. "LaDainian Tomlinson 2004 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  146. "Raiders better this time but lose again to Chargers". Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. November 22, 2004. p. 7CC via Newspapers.com.
  147. "San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns – December 19th, 2004". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  148. "Los Angeles Chargers Playoff History". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  149. 1 2 Wither, Tom (December 20, 2004). "Shock to the system". Ventura County Star. Associated Press. pp. C1, C9 via Newspapers.com.
  150. 1 2 "2004 NFL rushing". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  151. Wilson, Bernie (January 3, 2005). "Chargers JV's prevail". Lompoc Record. Associated Press. p. B1 via Newspapers.com.
  152. "2004 NFL scrimmage stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  153. "Tomlinson decides to take linemen to Hawaii". Palm Springs Desert Sun. Associated Press. December 23, 2004. p. C3 via Newspapers.com.
  154. "Manning is top choice for All-Pro team". Tulare Advance-Register. Associated Press. January 7, 2005. p. 5A via Newspapers.com.
  155. Wilson, Bernie (January 9, 2005). "Jets dodge Chargers' comeback". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Associated Press. pp. C-1, C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  156. "Wild Card – New York Jets at San Diego Chargers – January 8th, 2005". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  157. Lassen, David (January 10, 2005). "Schottenheimer's critics off the mark". Ventura County Star. p. C6 via Newspapers.com.
  158. Bannon, Terry (September 11, 2005). "Week 1 preview". Santa Fe New Mexican. Chicago Tribune. p. B-7 via Newspapers.com.
  159. "Moore's record tied by Tomlinson". Pro Football Hall of Fame. October 12, 2005. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  160. "Sweet reunion for Dallas". Modesto Bee. Associated Press. September 12, 2005. p. C-8 via Newspapers.com.
  161. 1 2 Pells, Eddie (September 19, 2005). "Bailey's big play sparks Broncos' comeback win". Modesto Bee. Associated Press. p. C-7 via Newspapers.com.
  162. Altavilla, John (September 26, 2005). "A jolt from the Bolts". Hartford Courant. pp. C1, C9 via Newspapers.com.
  163. "2006 NFL week 15 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  164. Stier, Kit (October 16, 2005). "Did you know?". White Plains Journal News. p. 12C via Newspapers.com.
  165. 1 2 Dubow, Josh (October 17, 2005). "Chargers feeling good after win over Raiders". Santa Maria Times. Associated Press. pp. B1, B3 via Newspapers.com.
  166. "Players with at least one rushing, receiving and passing touchdown in an NFL game". stathead.com. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  167. "San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders – October 16th, 2005". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  168. "2005 NFL Week 6 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  169. 1 2 Mosher, Geoff (October 24, 2005). "Fired-up Eagles defense shuts down Tomlinson, ends streak". Wilmington News Journal. p. C5 via Newspapers.com.
  170. "Chargers 28, Chiefs 20". Merced Sun-Star. Associated Press. October 31, 2005. p. C4 via Newspapers.com.
  171. "San Diego Chargers at New York Jets – November 6th, 2005". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  172. Adelson, Andrea (November 7, 2005). "Tomlinson has 4 TDs as Chargers beat Jets". Modesto Bee. Associated Press. p. C-5 via Newspapers.com.
  173. "San Diego Chargers at Washington Redskins – November 27th, 2005". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  174. "2005 NFL week 12 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  175. 1 2 White, Joseph (November 28, 2005). "The great one?". Santa Maria Times. Associated Press. pp. B1, B5 via Newspapers.com.
  176. "LaDainian Tomlinson 2005 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  177. "L.T. gets the business in the ribs from a Raider". Munster Times. Staff and wire reports. December 8, 2005. p. C2 via Newspapers.com.
  178. 1 2 Wilson, Bernie (January 1, 2006). "Broncos stampede by Chargers". Nashville Tennessean. Associated Press. p. 3C via Newspapers.com.
  179. "2005 NFL rushing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  180. "2005 NFL Scrimmage Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  181. "Favre ends year with 'W'". Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Associated Press. January 2, 2006. p. 5C via Newspapers.com.
  182. "Pro Bowl roster". Mansfield News-Journal. December 23, 2005. p. 2B via Newspapers.com.
  183. "2005 All-Pro team". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. January 10, 2006. p. B5 via Newspapers.com.
  184. Florio, Mike (October 6, 2022). "Drew Brees says he'd still be playing, but for 2005 shoulder injury". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  185. Wilson, Bernie (March 11, 2006). "Brees: Chargers have a lot to lose". South Bend Tribune. Associated Press. p. C6 via Newspapers.com.
  186. Pompei, Dan (April 10, 2006). "Chargers' faith in Rivers runs deep". Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. The Sporting News via Newspapers.com.
  187. Schefter, Adam; Mortensen, Chris (September 29, 2016). "Mort & Schefter's week 4 notebook: Could Trevor Siemian become trade bait?". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  188. Jenkins, Jim (September 12, 2006). "Oakland just can't get a grip on Tomlinson". Sacramento Bee. p. C8 via Newspapers.com.
  189. Scattareggia, Kevin (September 18, 2006). "San Diego suffocates Tennessee". San Luis Obispo Tribune. Associated Press. p. D4 via Newspapers.com.
  190. "Chargers 40, Titans 7". Chicago Tribune. September 18, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  191. "McNair rallies Ravens, again". Newport News Daily Press. Associated Press. October 2, 2006. p. B3 via Newspapers.com.
  192. "Rivers, Chargers take to air, open up offense". Detroit Free Press. October 9, 2006. p. 8E via Newspapers.com.
  193. 1 2 3 4 5 "LaDainian Tomlinson 2006 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  194. "San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers – October 15th, 2006". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  195. 1 2 "Tomlinson keeps Chargers on higher level". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. October 16, 2006. p. D10 via Newspapers.com.
  196. "4+ rushing touchdown games, Chargers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  197. Brisendine, Steve (October 23, 2006). "San Diego loses by a last second field goal". Ukiah Daily Journal. Associated Press. pp. A-5, A-6 via Newspapers.com.
  198. Wilson, Bernie (October 30, 2006). "Smashing success". Palm Springs Desert Sun. Associated Press. p. C1 via Newspapers.com.
  199. "Chargers snap back as Tomlinson dominates". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. November 6, 2006. p. D10 via Newspapers.com.
  200. "Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers – November 5th, 2006". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  201. "2006 NFL week 9 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  202. "San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals – November 12th, 2006". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  203. Kay, Joe (November 13, 2006). "Chargers zap Bengals". Modesto Bee. Associated Press. p. C-5 via Newspapers.com.
  204. "San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos – November 19th, 2006". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  205. Stapleton, Arnie (November 20, 2006). "L.T. evaporates 17-point hole". Redding Record-Searchlight. Associated Press. p. D-4 via Newspapers.com.
  206. 1 2 Stapleton, Arnie (November 20, 2006). "Four more touchdowns for Tomlinson, who's fastest to 100". San Luis Obispo Tribune. Associated Press. p. D1 via Newspapers.com.
  207. "San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos – November 19th, 2006". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  208. "2006 NFL week 11 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  209. Jones, Jason (November 27, 2006). "Tomlinson's arm helps him achieve feats". Sacramento Bee. p. C9 via Newspapers.com.
  210. "San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills – December 3rd, 2006". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  211. Wawrow, John (December 4, 2006). "Buffalo's Bills nor Buffalo's chills can bring down Tomlinson". Fresno Bee. Associated Press. p. C5 via Newspapers.com.
  212. 1 2 3 4 Wilson, Bernie (December 11, 2006). "Charging into the record book". San Luis Obispo Tribune. Associated Press. pp. D1, D4 via Newspapers.com.
  213. 1 2 "Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers – December 10th, 2006". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  214. 1 2 3 Paris 2016, Chapter 19: LaDainian Tomlinson.
  215. "2006 NFL week 11 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  216. 1 2 "LaDainian Tomlinson career touchdowns". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  217. 1 2 3 4 Wilson, Bernie (December 18, 2006). "Lightning strikes again". Palm Springs Desert Sun. Associated Press. pp. C-1, C-8 via Newspapers.com.
  218. Bell, Gregg (December 25, 2006). "Another Charger finds the end zone". Ventura County Star. Associated Press. p. C3 via Newspapers.com.
  219. "Most consecutive 100+ yard rushing games, Chargers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  220. Wilson, Bernie (January 1, 2007). "Chargers stay on win streak". Palm Springs Desert Sun. Associated Press. pp. C-1, C-3 via Newspapers.com.
  221. "NFL rushing yards year-by-year leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  222. "NFL Rushing Yards Year-by-Year Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  223. "2006 NFL Rushing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  224. "2006 NFL scrimmage stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  225. "2006 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  226. "2006 San Diego Chargers Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  227. 1 2 3 "Chargers' Tomlinson runs away with MVP award". ESPN.com. ESPN. Associated Press. January 5, 2007. Archived from the original on October 12, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  228. "Sporting News Player of the Year winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  229. "Pro Football Writers of America History (1964–2020)" (PDF). Pro Football Writers of America. September 1, 2020. p. 5. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  230. "Coughlin given 1-year reprieve". Atlanta Constitution. Associated Press. January 11, 2007. p. D2 via Newspapers.com.
  231. 1 2 "Tomlinson leads AP All-Pro selections". Modesto Bee. Bee News Services. January 9, 2007. p. C-4 via Newspapers.com.
  232. 1 2 "Former teammates share Payton award". Alexandria Town Talk. Associated Press. February 3, 2007. p. B1 via Newspapers.com.
  233. "Top team dominate Pro Bowls". Tacoma News Tribune. News Tribune news services. December 20, 2006. p. C6 via Newspapers.com.
  234. 1 2 3 Harris, Ben (July 12, 2007), "Chargers' Tomlinson wins 4 ESPY awards", USA Today, archived from the original on October 10, 2007, retrieved October 23, 2010
  235. 1 2 Wilson, Bernie (January 15, 2007). "Patriots edge San Diego with late field goal, face Colts for AFC title". Vancouver Columbian. Associated Press. pp. B1, B7 via Newspapers.com.
  236. "Divisional Round – New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers – January 14th, 2007". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  237. Beacham, Greg (February 7, 2007). "Harmony in Paradise". Palm Springs Desert Sun. Associated Press. p. C3 via Newspapers.com.
  238. Wilson, Bernie (January 16, 2007). "Tomlinson says Marty isn't to blame". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Associated Press. p. 4D via Newspapers.com.
  239. "About face: Chargers fire head coach Schottenheimer". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 13, 2007. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  240. "Sports briefs". Rocky Mount Telegram. Associated Press. February 13, 2007. p. 4B via Newspapers.com.
  241. Wilson, Bernie (February 20, 2007). "Turner takes over Chargers". McAllen Monitor. Associated Press. p. 3C via Newspapers.com.
  242. "Chicago Bears at San Diego Chargers – September 9th, 2007". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  243. "LaDainian Tomlinson career passing touchdowns". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 12, 2022.
  244. Wilson, Bernie (September 10, 2007). "Chargers run past sloppy Bears". Santa Maria Times. Associated Press. p. B3 via Newspapers.com.
  245. Ulman, Howard (September 16, 2007). "Pats-Chargers showdown has plenty of storylines". Louisville Courier-Journal. Associated Press. p. C8 via Newspapers.com.
  246. "Patriots zap Chargers". Modesto Bee. Associated Press. September 17, 2007. p. C-5 via Newspapers.com.
  247. 1 2 Wilson, Bernie (October 15, 2007). "Recharged". Redding Record-Searchlight. Associated Press. pp. D-1, D-4 via Newspapers.com.
  248. 1 2 "LaDainian Tomlinson 2007 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 12, 2022.
  249. "Rushing leaders". Allentown. November 28, 2007. p. C8 via Newspapers.com.
  250. 1 2 Wilson, Bernie (December 3, 2007), "L.T. honors Payton a day after passing Sweetness on rushing TD list", USA Today, archived from the original on January 8, 2011, retrieved October 23, 2010
  251. "Tomlinson's TD in OT caps Chargers' rally". Sacramento Bee. Associated Press. December 10, 2007. p. C8 via Newspapers.com.
  252. 1 2 Gutierrez, Paul (November 22, 2022). "Raiders' Davante Adams a 'different' receiver during current three-game tear". espn.co.uk. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  253. "San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders – December 30th, 2007". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  254. 1 2 Dubow, Josh (December 31, 2007). "Raiders can't finish strong". San Francisco Examiner. p. 32 via Newspapers.com.
  255. "2007 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  256. "Tomlinson feeling lost in Chargers offense". San Luis Obispo Tribune. Associated Press. September 24, 2007. p. S4 via Newspapers.com.
  257. Williams, Charean (December 11, 2007). "My five cents". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. p. 6D via Newspapers.com.
  258. "Happy together". Detroit Free Press. December 16, 2007. p. 10D via Newspapers.com.
  259. "2007 NFL Rushing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 4, 2024.
  260. Acee, Kevin; Posner, Jay (December 31, 2007), "Tomlinson wins another rushing title", The San Diego Union-Tribune , archived from the original on August 25, 2009, retrieved October 23, 2010
  261. Weisman, Larry (November 26, 2007). "Recharged". Palm Springs Desert Sun. USA Today. p. C4 via Newspapers.com.
    Silverman, Steve (2009), Who's Better, Who's Best in Football?: Setting the Record Straight on the Top 60 NFL Players of the Past 60 Years, Skyhorse Publishing, p. 94, ISBN   978-1-60239-688-3
  262. 1 2 Wilson, Bernie (December 17, 2007). "Lions season still spiralling out of control". Lansing State Journal. Associated Press. pp. 1C, 3C via Newspapers.com.
  263. "2007 NFL Scrimmage Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 4, 2024.
  264. "Heading to Hawaii". San Luis Obispo Tribune. Associated Press. December 19, 2007. p. S4 via Newspapers.com.
    Wilner, Barry (January 10, 2008). "Tomlinson, Moss earn unanimous All-Pro honors". Santa Maria Times. Associated Press. pp. D1, D5 via Newspapers.com.
  265. 1 2 3 "Tomlinson honored". El Paso Times. Times wire reports. February 3, 2008. p. 6C via Newspapers.com.
  266. 1 2 "Recap: Chargers secure first playoff win in 13 years". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 6, 2008. Archived from the original on February 26, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  267. Wilson, Bernie (January 7, 2008). "Chargers make a big leap". East Bay Times. Associated Press. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  268. McManaman, Bob (January 14, 2008). "Reserve power". Arizona Republic. p. C8 via Newspapers.com.
  269. 1 2 "L.T. sees chance to redeem himself in New England". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 13, 2011. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016.
  270. "Recap: Chargers stun Colts, will face Patriots in AFC title game". ESPN.com. ESPN. Associated Press. January 13, 2008. Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  271. "Looking back: Hurt of '07 AFC Championship immense for L.T., Chargers, San Diego". San Diego Union-Tribune. August 10, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  272. "Recap: Pats put away Chargers for fourth Super Bowl berth in seven years". ESPN.com. ESPN. Associated Press. January 20, 2008. Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  273. 1 2 Wilson, Bernie (January 22, 2008). "Chargers QB to have surgery". Palm Springs Desert Sun. Associated Press. p. C5 via Newspapers.com.
  274. Acee, Kevin (January 31, 2008). "MRI shows Tomlinson damaged knee further vs. Pats". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016.
  275. "NFL notes". Palm Springs Desert Sun. Associated Press. January 22, 2008. p. C5 via Newspapers.com.
  276. Williams, Charean (April 6, 2008). "LT didn't need insult added to injury". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. p. 16C via Newspapers.com.
  277. Latter, Sam (August 14, 2008). "Neal gets to work after joining Ravens' camp". Hanover Evening Sun. p. B-4 via Newspapers.com.
  278. Sawchik, Travis (April 28, 2008). "Tolbert signs deal with San Diego". Myrtle Beach Sun-News. p. 6B via Newspapers.com.
  279. Wilson, Bernie (September 3, 2008). "Tomlinson charged up for new season". Austin American-Statesman. Associated Press. p. C8 via Newspapers.com.
  280. "Recap: Delhomme connects with Rosario in final second to lift Panthers over Chargers". ESPN.com. Associated Press. September 7, 2008. Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  281. "Chargers sign RB Michael Bennett". Alexandria Town Talk. Wire services. November 13, 2008. p. B2 via Newspapers.com.
  282. "San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders – September 28th, 2008". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  283. Gutierrez, Paul (September 29, 2008). "Another collapse in 4th quarter spells defeat". Sacramento Bee. pp. C1, C9 via Newspapers.com.
  284. "LaDainian Tomlinson 2008 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 14, 2022.
  285. "2008 San Diego Chargers Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  286. "2008 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  287. Wilson, Bernie (December 28, 2008). "The Hochuli Bowl will decide AFC West". Idaho Statesman. p. Sports 5 via Newspapers.com.