During the San Diego Chargers’ 30-23 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, LaDainian Tomlinson achieved a few big time milestones.
First, LT scored his 150th career touchdown on a 4-yard run in with 5:58 left in the third quarter. That score made him the fastest player to reach 150 scores, as he did it in his 137th career game. The previous record was held by Emmitt Smith, who did it in 160 games. So Tomlinson did it a season and a half faster than the previous record-holder. That’s insane.
Tomlinson also jumped two spots on the all-time rushing list as well. He jumped Marshall Faulk for ninth on the list, then passes Browns great Jim Brown for eighth place with 9:01 remaining in the game. It was kind of cool that he passed Brown in Cleveland.
The fact that LT has reached these milestones is especially impressive when you consider that he’s just 30-years-old. In the past few weeks he’s shown a bounce and burst that wasn’t apparent last year or earlier this year. He may actually be finally rounding into form following his major knee surgery prior to last season. It has taken some players well over a year to fully recover. I personally think Tomlinson has some juice left.
This will be the first season in which Tomlinson doesn’t reach 1,000 yards in his nine-year career. But he’s got eight touchdowns, including six in his last four games.
As stated before, he’s currently eighth on the all-time rushing list with 12,321 yards. Next up will be Tony Dorsett, who has 12,739, then Eric Dickerson with 13,259. With a strong finish LT could finish the season in seventh place.
Tomlinson is also second all-time in rushing touchdowns with 135. Smith is first with 164.
In overall touchdowns scored, Tomlinson is third all-time with 150. Jerry Rice is first with 208 and Smith is second with 175.
With his recent struggles, it has been easy to forget just how great he really is. He certainly has to be considered one of the best running backs of all-time, and if his career can somehow find a second wind (again, he’s only 30) he could move himself into the best of all-time discussion.