All about Tomlinson

When contemplating "adequate" and "premium" among NFL running backs, San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson is a choice cut and a body-contouring seat you don't want to move from. His strength, vision, ability to dart, and dependability packed in his 5-10, 221-pound frame make him a luxury.

A sampling of some of Tomlinson's accomplishments in his first five NFL seasons:

• He is the first player in history to rush for 10 or more touchdowns in each of his first five NFL seasons.

• Owns the NFL record of scoring a rushing TD in the most consecutive games (18)

• Reached 80 career rushing TDs in 79 games, tying Emmitt Smith in the category in the second fewest games played (Jim Brown, 76 games).

• He is one of three players in history to have 70 rushing TDs, five TD receptions, and four TD passes, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen and Walter Payton.

• He is the Chargers' all-time leading rusher (7,361).

• Since 2001, he is one of two NFL backs to have rushed for more than 7,000 yards (Shaun Alexander, 7,504).

The 27-year-old rusher from TCU tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Lenny Moore's record of consecutive games with a touchdown (18) over the past two seasons and has scored a TD in 22 of the Chargers' past 28 regular-season games.

In 2006, Tomlinson can join Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson as the only rushers to begin careers with six 1,200- yard seasons. Dickerson struck for at least 1,200 yards in each of his first seven years en route to Canton, Ohio.

The breakdown:

Player Team 1,200+ Yard Rush Seasons to Begin Career
Eric Dickerson L.A. Rams/Indianapolis 7
LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego 5*
Eddie George Houston/Tennessee 5

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Tomlinson and Seattle running back Shaun Alexander's scoring exploits helped them surpass a trio of Hall of Fame legends in 2005, as each posted an NFL record fifth consecutive season with at least 10 rushing touchdowns. Alexander's 27 rushing TDs and Tomlinson's 18 moved them past Walter Payton, Earl Campbell and Eric Dickerson, who each accomplished the feat four years in a row.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson had an up-close view of both Tomlinson and Alexander last season, as the Eagles hosted the Chargers and Seahawks. The Eagles held Tomlinson to seven rushing yards and Alexander to 49 – the lowest total of the season for both All-Stars.

"They both are good runners but I think they're a little different," says Johnson. "LaDainian is so good at getting to the outside and making things happen from there. Shaun is a great downhill runner. Shaun can certainly get outside too, but the biggest strength he has is that he breaks a lot of tackles. That is why when they get to the red zone, he breaks tackles and gets in the end zone."

The players with the most consecutive seasons of 10-or-more rushing touchdowns:

Player Team Years Consecutive 10+ Rushing TD Seasons
Shaun Alexander Seattle Seahawks 2001-05 5*
LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers 2001-05 5*
Walter Payton Chicago Bears 1976-79 4
Earl Campbell Houston Oilers 1978-81 4
Eric Dickerson Los Angeles Rams 1983-86 4

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Tomlinson has rushed for 200 yards in a game four times in his five-year career. Tomlinson needs one 200-yard rushing game to pass Tiki Barber, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell and Barry Sanders (4) to move into solsecond place all-time and needs two to tie O.J. Simpson (6) for the NFL record.

The most 200-yard rushing games in NFL history:

Player Teams Years 200-Yard Rushing Games
O.J. Simpson Buffalo, San Francisco 1969-79 6
Jim Brown Cleveland 1957- 65 4
Earl Campbell Houston, New Orleans 1978-85 4
Barry Sanders Detroit 1989- 98 4
Tiki Barber NY Giants 1997- 05 4*
LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego 2001-05 4*

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