No player has ever scored 16 touchdowns in the span of five games prior to LaDainian Tomlinson accomplishing the feat with four scores on Sunday and 12 in his previous four weeks leading into the contest.
It has been video game good for Tomlinson lately.
"When you're playing a video game, there isn't much emotion," said Tomlinson. "This game was so real. It was very emotional being out there playing the game."
Tomlinson rushed for two touchdowns for the fifth time this year and third game in a row. It is the second time in his career he has scored two or more times in three consecutive games. He last accomplished the feat from September 18 through October 2 against the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and New England Patriots – all on the road.
He ended the game with four rushing touchdowns, giving him 16 total touchdowns over his last five games, and tying a franchise record for rushing touchdowns in a game. He has scored at least three times, combined rushing and receiving, in each of the last three games for the first time in his career.
The only players other than Tomlinson to score four rushing touchdowns in a game in San Diego history were Chuck Muncie versus Denver on November 29, 1981 and Clarence Williams versus Buffalo, September 16, 1979.
"The superlatives about him are sometimes hard to come up with," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "I have to tell you that I stand in the amazement on the sideline sometimes. Some of the things that he does are remarkable. It is a great tribute to the young man. If there was ever a consummate team player it is LaDainian Tomlinson."
Tomlinson has 98 career touchdowns in 88 games and can become the fastest player to score 100 touchdowns next week against Denver.
Tomlinson scored all four touchdowns while not rushing for 100 yards. He surpassed the 100-yard barrier with four minutes to go in the game. It is the third game in a row he has topped 100 yards and fourth time on the year.
The Bolts are 24-8 when Tomlinson runs for 100 yards or more, 22-5 when he scores two or more touchdowns, and 32-18 when he has 20-plus carries.
Brandon Manumaleuna caught his second touchdown pass of the year on Sunday. The Bolts now have five different receivers who have scored two or more touchdowns this year. Manumaleuna caught his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter to set a new season-high for scores with three. It was the first time in his six-year career that he has two receiving touchdown in the same game.
The second touchdown occurred because Philip Rivers bought time by moving outside the pocket and flipping the ball to Manumaleuna with pressure bearing down on him.
"He scrambled and bought extra time," Jonathan Joseph said of the play. "We came out of coverage, and he made a good play with the ball."
After amassing 98 yards passing in the first half, Philip Rivers threw for 98 yards on his first two drives of the third quarter and ended the day with 337 yards passing and a 124.4 quarterback rating. He set a new career-high in passing yards and touchdown passes with three.
"There really wasn't a panic," Rivers said of the thinking at halftime. "The coaches just said that this is the situation that you are in. It was one of those types of games where we just said let's keep scoring and see what happens."
Malcom Floyd set a new career-high with his 46-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. His previous long was a 31-yard grab against Baltimore earlier this season.
"When you have a lead like that and you allow an explosive play over the top, you can't do that," Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis said of the big scoring play to Floyd. "And that's the worst part. You can't have that happen."
Floyd also set a new career-high in receiving yards with 109. Floyd set a new career-high with five receptions. He had just 90 yards receiving in his career entering the game and is the first San Diego player this year to collect over 100 yards receiving.
Keenan McCardell's 21-yard catch in the middle of the second quarter pushed him past 11,000 yards for his career.
Lorenzo Neal fumbled out of bounds in the first quarter. It was his second fumble of the year but the Chargers have retained possession in each case. The last time he fumbled twice in the same season came in 1995 while he was with New Orleans.
Shaun Phillips collected a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery in the fourth quarter. The sack was his seventh of the year, matching his total from last year. It is also his third forced fumble, matching last year's total and the second ball he has recovered this year.
"For us, we are playing for the playoffs," said Phillips. "We have no choice but to go out there and play our hearts out."
Igor Olshansky recorded his first sack of the year in the second quarter. The defensive end had three sacks last year for the Bolts and has five in his career.