It also marked the eighth-consecutive game in which he crossed the goal line, tying him with Paul Lowe, who scored touchdowns in eight-straight games during the 1960-61 seasons. LT is closing in on the team record for consecutive games with a touchdown of nine, held jointly by Natrone Means (1993-94) and Lance Alworth, who did it in 1963 and '64.
Tomlinson has eleven rushing touchdowns in the Chargers' first 11 games of 2004. He is the first player in team history and just the third player in NFL history to score 10 or more rushing touchdowns in his first four NFL seasons. The only others to accomplish this feat are Eric Dickerson (1983-86) and Earl Campbell (1978-81), who each did it in their first four seasons. No player has ever rushed for 10 or more touchdowns in his first five seasons.
The NFL record for touchdown receptions by a tight end is 12, held by four different players.
Gates now has four multi-touchdown games this year and has scored eight of his touchdowns in the last four games.
The battle of Gates vs. Tony Gonzalez turned out to be everything expected. Gates caught seven passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns and Gonzo caught eight passes for 105 yards. Gates is one behind Derrick Mason in receptions with 69 compared to Mason's 70.
"Of course you have Tony here and he's a terrific player," said Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer. "As Antonio continues to gain experience and continues to play I think he'll be at that same level."
Brees has not thrown an interception since the first quarter of the Chargers' game at Atlanta Oct. 17. It happened on the game's opening drive. That is his only interception in the last eight games and Brees has thrown just one interception in his last 277 pass attempts.
Brees also threw for a career high 378 yards on 28-for-37 passing. His previous high was 363 yards on December 14, 2003 in against Green Bay.
Schottenheimer said there was a reason for throwing so much on Sunday, and it wasn't the ineffectiveness of Tomlinson and the offensive line in the running game: "There was a time at half when I said to Cam (Cameron), ‘We need to throw this ball.' He said, ‘Coach we are.' And I said ‘Good, keep throwing it.' I think it's very difficult to rush the passer on this field. You get a bit of an advantage in my view in that situation."
"I was trying to drag him into the end zone," Osgood said.
Osgood ended the day with two catches for 92 yards and his hustle on special teams helped cause Dante Hall to fumble away a kickoff return as he was closing in on the end zone.
"It shouldn't have happened," Hall said bluntly.
"They got me on that one," Chiefs' quarterback Trent Green said. "It was a zone dog. I saw the "Sam" linebacker and I thought they were in man-to-man. After the "Sam" came and the safety shifted over, I was zoned in on the two receivers. It was a two-receiver max protection route. I never saw [Chargers DE] Donnie [Edwards]. They got me."
Kassim Osgood also ended up with a bruise on his leg. He may meet the trainer's table on Monday but it isn't expected to keep him sidelined.
Jerry Wilson was also injured but it didn't appear to be serious.
Denis Savage can be reached at email@example.com