The Chargers ended the year number one in rushing defense – allowing 84.3 yards per game, 0.9 yards better than Denver. Four of the 16 teams they played recorded 100 or more rushing yards with the team allowing 157 and 144 over the final two weeks of the season against Kansas City and Denver, respectively.
The Chargers recorded 46 sacks in 2005, good for fifth-best in the league. Shawne Merriman led the team in sacks with ten, the first rookie since 1982 to lead the Chargers in sacks. His ten sacks tied Chris Mims for most by a rookie defender.
The Chargers recorded more wins on the road, five, than at home, four, for the first time since 1994. In 46 seasons, the Bolts have only had more wins on the road than at home seven times (1965, 1968, 1970, 1977, 1986, 1994 and 2005).
LaDainian Tomlinson ended the year with 1,464 yards and surpassed Chuck Muncie with his 20th touchdown of the season on Saturday to give him a new Chargers record. Muncie was in attendance on Sunday to witness his record going down. He also tied idol Emmitt Smith as the fastest player to score 80 touchdowns, doing it in 79 games. Only Jim Brown (76) ranks ahead of Smith and Tomlinson.
Also on Saturday, Tomlinson surpassed Lance Alworth for most yards from scrimmage in Chargers history. His 9,755 yards outpaced Alworth by 34 yards.
"It is an honor to surpass Lance Alworth and everything he meant to the Chargers along with Chuck Muncie, two incredible players. I am happy to put my name atop that board," said Tomlinson. "When you lose and finish on a bad note it is hard to find any positive in breaking those records."
With Tomlinson netting his 20th touchdown and Larry Johnson getting three on Sunday to surpass 20, they along with Shaun Alexander, became the first trio in NFL history to surpass 20 touchdowns in the same season. Five other groups of players had matched or surpassed 20 in the same year but never have three notched 20 or more until this year.
Antonio Gates finished the season with 89 receptions, tied for most by a Charger tight end with Kellen Winslow and 1,101 yards, the most by a Chargers tight end since Kellen Winslow had 1,172 yards in 1983.
SDBoltReport.com and TFY Draft Preview will be at the Senior Bowl again this year with our coverage beginning on Saturday, January 21, 2006. The Chargers selected three players from the 2005 Senior Bowl squad.
In the preseason preview, I accurately predicted a 9-7 record for the Chargers this year. And in game-to-game predictions I was 14-2. I am only sorry to say that I was right about the final outcome. The promising thing is I believe they will be in the playoffs next year.