Tomlinson runs for two TDs, passes for one in comeback win

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Once all the confusion was sorted out and the

ball still belonged to the San Diego Chargers, they made sure to

get it into LaDainian Tomlinson's hands.

Most TDs scored, one season

Shaun Alexander




Priest Holmes




Marshall Faulk




Emmitt Smith




LaDainian Tomlinson




Priest Holmes




John Riggins




L.T. has been a touchdown waiting to happen for nearly two

months, by running, catching or throwing. The star running back

once again saved San Diego, keying yet another second-half rally to

give the AFC West-leading Chargers a 21-14 win over the Oakland

Raiders on Sunday, their fifth straight victory.

The way they've been rallying and winning, even with boneheaded

plays such as the one receiver Vincent Jackson made, the Chargers

(9-2) might have something special going after so many seasons of

false hopes and brutal play.

"I certainly hope so, because I might have a heart attack

pretty soon," said Tomlinson, who's in the midst of an MVP-type

season. "It seems like it's magical, the way things are happening

for us. It's kind of just going right for us."

Scouts Inc.'s take ...

It was clear after two emotional road wins that the Chargers were looking past this Raider football team. Oakland did a real nice job of controlling the line of scrimmage for the first three and a half quarters. But when push came to shove, it was LT to the rescue again. LaDainian Tomlinson (above) accounted for three touchdowns on the day, two on the ground and one via the pass. Even though the Chargers were not firing on all cylinders, they did a nice job of sticking with their game plan. It shows a lot of character for a team to still win a game when they don't bring their "A" game.

Tomlinson rushed for two touchdowns and broke out a favorite San

Diego trick by throwing for another. He has 24 touchdowns this

season, and needs five in the last five games to break the NFL

record of 28 set by Shaun Alexander during his MVP season of 2005.

Tomlinson threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antonio

Gates to tie the game at 14 with 9:46 left. The running back has

thrown for two touchdowns this season and six in his career, three

against the archrival Raiders.

The latest came four plays after Jackson nearly gave away the


With the Chargers (9-2) trailing 14-7 and facing fourth-and-2

from the Raiders 40, Jackson made a diving catch of a 13-yard pass

from Philip Rivers, rolled to the ground untouched, then stood up

and spun the ball forward in celebration. Oakland's Fabian

Washington jumped on the ball.

"My emotions just got me for a second," said Jackson, a

second-year pro.

Referee Mike Carey originally signaled Oakland's possession and

the Raiders' offense came on the field. The Raiders (2-9) rushed to

the line of scrimmage, but umpire Garth DeFelice told them to hold

up while Carey huddled with other officials.

Then it was ruled an illegal forward pass, with Carey saying

that with the penalty, the Chargers didn't have enough yardage for

the first down, and it was Raiders ball.

Then he ruled the Chargers did have enough yards for a first

down, at the 32.

"Once we got the yardage set correctly ... they had the first

down," Carey said.

"I think we have a new rule about to happen," Raiders

quarterback Aaron Brooks said. "What's the difference between a

spike and a little flippity-flip, or whatever he did?"

Brooks felt the Raiders would have won if they had gotten the

ball. Instead, they lost their seventh straight to San Diego.

"No question, the momentum turns back around in our favor,"

Brooks said.

Four plays later, Rivers flipped the ball back to Tomlinson, who

waited for Gates to get wide open, then lobbed to him in the end


Elias Says

LaDainian Tomlinson scored two touchdowns in the Chargers' 21-14 win over the Raiders. Tomlinson has scored at least twice in each of his last five games, and his total of 16 TDs during that time is the highest five-game total in NFL history. Jim Brown held that mark for 48 years -- with 14 TDs over five games in 1958 -- until L.T. broke it with 15 TDs over five games from Oct. 15 to Nov. 12.

• For more Elias Says, Click here.

"Shoot, if I ain't throwing it good, let him," said Rivers,

who had his worst game as a starter.

"We've done that plenty of enough times where you kick it to me

and I just run around the end," Tomlinson said. "So they're

thinking that was a run play and they come up to try to support the

run and Gates just slipped right through them. You see the

cornerbacks, they run up, and the next thing they see Gates and

they're saying, 'Oh no!' "

Said Gates: "When you give the ball to No. 21, the whole

defense better run to him."

After the Chargers forced a punt, Tomlinson broke a 44-yard run

on first down, starting up the middle before bouncing outside. He

capped the drive with a 10-yard run, easing up as he crossed the

goal line untouched.

It was his 21st touchdown in seven games.

The home comeback followed the Chargers' 42-point performance in

the second half two weeks ago in a 49-41 win at Cincinnati, and

their rally from 17 points down at Denver last week.

Tomlinson recorded his career-best fifth straight 100-yard game,

finishing with 109 yards on 19 carries.

Rivers, meanwhile, was just 14-of-31 for 133 yards, with one

interception and no touchdowns, for a rating of 44.2.

After Oakland's ReShard Lee scored on a 1-yard run early in the

second quarter, Chargers rookie Antonio Cromartie had a 91-yard

kickoff return to set up Tomlinson's 4-yard scoring run.

Brooks threw a 2-yard TD pass to wide-open tight end John Madsen

midway through the third quarter to put the Raiders up 14-7. It

came one play after Madsen stepped out of bounds after a 56-yard


Brooks was 17-of-30 for 187 yards and one TD, with two


^Notes:@ Tomlinson came out for one play after tweaking a hamstring

in the third quarter. He set Chargers single-season records with

his 20th TD rushing, and 138 points. ... Tomlinson's 14 TDs against

Oakland are his most against any opponent. ... Chargers coach Marty

Schottenheimer got his 200th career win.