At halftime of San Diego’s Week 14 Sunday night game, LaDainian Tomlinson will be inducted into the team’s hall of fame and become just the fourth Charger to have his jersey retired. I’m sure it’ll be a lovely ceremony, but more importantly, this is a great excuse to watch some highlights of one of the greatest all-purpose backs in football history.
Tomlinson, whose size led him to eschew contact and whose moves and vision made that feasible, was always one of the more entertaining runners around. (And he had a cool-ass visor.) But his 2006 still seems impossible. That season, he rushed for an NFL record 28 touchdowns, to go with three TD receptions and two TD passes for a total of 33 scores. Neither record has even come close to being challenged since.
He fell off drastically after his age-28 season, and his two years with the Jets should probably just be quietly forgotten, but damned if the Chargers during those few years on either side of the Brees/Rivers handover weren’t the most fun team in football. Enjoy your running backs before they break down, folks.