This is the last of three plays nominated as the most memorable in San Diego Chargers history. We have also featured: Kellen Winslow’s blocked field goal against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Divisional playoffs and linebacker Dennis Gibson batting down a pass by Pittsburgh's Neil O'Donnell intended for running back Barry Foster on fourth down in the 1994 AFC title game, sealing a trip to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Please vote for your choice as the Chargers’ most memorable play.
Score: Chargers 48, Broncos 20
Date: December 11, 2006 Site: Qualcomm Stadium.
Running back LaDainian Tomlinson broke Shaun Alexander’s single-season touchdown record of 28 with three touchdowns in a 48-20 win against Denver in a win that clinched an AFC West title. The performance was a coronation of perhaps the greatest player in San Diego Chargers history.
The record breaker came on a 7-yard run with just over three minutes left in the game. Tomlinson took a handoff from Philip Rivers running to his left, bounced outside and evaded a tackle to reach the end zone. Tomlinson finished the season with 31 total touchdowns, earning league MVP honors.
What took place after Tomlinson crossed the end zone for the record-breaking touchdown showed what the future Hall of Fame running back symbolizes for the franchise. The entire offense rushed to Tomlinson to congratulate him, lifting him on their shoulders and carrying him off the field.
“Once I got over the pylon, my initial thought process was to bring every guy on the offensive unit over to share that moment,” Tomlinson said. “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.
“There’s no better feeling than to share it with the group of guys that’s in that locker room.”
Tomlinson finished his career as the franchise’s all-time leader in rushing yards (12,490), yards from scrimmage (16,445) and touchdowns (153). Tomlinson totaled 47 100-yard rushing games while with the Chargers, made five Pro Bowls and twice led the league in rushing yards.
He is No. 5 on the league’s all-time rushing list with 13,684 yards in 11 NFL seasons.
“He is the finest running back to ever wear an NFL uniform,” Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said.
— Arnie Gordon (@dreamerwestAG) July 3, 2014