American Football: Tomlinson sets touchdown record as Chargers reach play-offs
Tuesday 12 December 2006
The San Diego Chargers became the second team to qualify for next month's play-offs after beating the Denver Broncos 48-20. The star of the show was the running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who established a new NFL season record of 29 touchdowns.
The old mark of 28, set last year by Seattle's Shaun Alexander, has always been under threat from the prolific Tomlinson. His third score of the day against Denver, a seven-yard run with three minutes remaining, merely confirmed the inevitable. His reaction afterwards was typical of this most unselfish of players.
"My initial thought process was to bring every guy on the offensive unit over to share the moment," he said. "When we're old and can't play any more, these are the moments we are going to remember, that we'll tell our kids and grandchildren. We can talk about something special, we made history today."
With three more matches remaining in the regular season, Tomlinson has many further history-making opportunities to come.
There was a moment of history, too, for the respected Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison, who became only the fourth player to achieve 1,000 career catches. However, as Harrison's big moment arrived with the Colts trailing the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-10 in the fourth quarter, celebrations were muted.
The New Orleans Saints are now one win away from the post-season following their 42-17 humbling of the Dallas Cowboys. Tipped by most analysts to struggle this year, the Saints have been revived under the shrewd guidance of their first-year coach, Shaun Payton, who joined from Dallas last season.
Payton put together a masterful game plan against his old mentor, the veteran Dallas coach, Bill Parcells. The quarterback, Drew Brees, threw five touchdown passes, with two of them going to Mike Karney, who had never caught a touchdown in his life, and another to Jamal Jones, who had only two previous career catches to his name.
"I could tell it was very special for him," said Brees of his coach. "He didn't put a lot of added pressure on us, he just went about his normal business. But I could see the gleam in his eye at the end. I could tell it meant a lot."
While Tomlinson is almost certain to be named the sport's Most Valuable Player at the end of the season, Payton looks equally likely to be named Coach of the Year for effecting a remarkable transformation in the Saints' fortunes.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Fantasy Premier League: Invest in Arsenal to climb the ranks in Gameweek 23
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
Chelsea vs Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini pours scorn on anti-Chelsea 'campaign' but refuses to discuss Jose Mourinho's 'Pellegrino' slight
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...