"I can't tell you how much respect for him I have," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said.
LaDainian Tomlinson is the first player to score a touchdown rushing, receiving and passing in the same game since David Patten in 2001. Only five other players have accomplished the feat in the history of the NFL (Walter Payton. John Henry Johnson, Dan Reeves, Harmon Wages )and he is the second Charger (Keith Lincoln, 1965).
His second touchdown pass of the year came in the second quarter when he connected with Justin Peelle. For Peelle, it was his first touchdown reception of the year. The last touchdown he scored came against Oakland on Halloween last year and three of his four career touchdowns have come against the Raiders.
Tomlinson is 2-for-2 for 30 yards with a pair of touchdown passes this year. He is just the second running back to throw more than one passing touchdown in the same season, tying the mark set by Alfred Anderson in 1984 with Minnesota.
"He has a higher quarterback passing than anyone in the game this point," said quarterback Drew Brees. "He threw one to me a couple years ago here and one last year."
"I am happy with my rating so I want to minimize my passes," added Tomlinson.
And there is more.
Tomlinson became the first player in NFL history to rush for ten touchdowns or more in each of his first five seasons – a feat matched by Shaun Alexander later in the day. He tied Lenny Moore with his 18th consecutive game scoring a touchdown and extended his NFL record of games with a rushing score.
"Lenny Moore's record is quite an honor," Tomlinson said. "It's a 40-year-old record and he's a Hall-of-Famer. I had to have that ball. I want to be able to show it to my kids."
"The superlatives are running out even for an English major like myself," head coach Marty Schottenheimer explained.
Led by Tomlinson, the Chargers have scored a rushing touchdown in 24 consecutive games. It is the longest active streak in the NFL. The league record is 35 games, set by Green Bay from 1959-1962.
Tomlinson is tied for the NFL lead (Alexander) with 11 touchdowns through six games and that does not include his two touchdown throws. The Chargers record for most touchdowns in a season, incidentally, is 19 set by Chuck Muncie in 1981.
Sunday marked the 26th time in Tomlinson's career that he has surpassed the 100-yard rushing barrier.
Since Tomlinson's rookie year of 2001, he has posted more rushing yards than any other running back.
"We tried different ways to get him the ball," Schottenheimer said. "If you give him the ball enough times he's going to make plenty of yards."
And it obviously pays to get Tomlinson the rock. The Bolts are 18-8 when he rushes for 100-plus yards.
Tomlinson now trails Lance Alworth (9,721) by 975 yards for the team's all-time lead in yards from scrimmage.