Chargers understand the meaning of "team"

There may have been times when it was clear that San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was a leader but it was abundantly clear on Sunday with a few simple words.

There was a green NFL quarterback telling the great LaDainian Tomlinson how the second half was to unfold. And, that it might not include Tomlinson's incredible talents.

"I said, 'listen LT, I'm going to need you on check-down passes so be ready because we've got to try and push it up the field a little,'" Rivers said.

Rivers was talking of Sunday's amazing game, when the Chargers scored 42-second-half points for an unlikely comeback win in Cincinnati. But instead of Tomlinson being a bit player, he tied a franchise record with four rushing touchdowns.

Tomlinson is on a run that is incomparable. He has scored 15 touchdowns in five games, which betters the previous mark held by Jim Brown.

Every week he seems to put on his Superman cap and save the Chargers. Sunday was no different, as he dominated the game and almost willed them to a win.

Tomlinson will likely record his sixth straight 1,000-yard rushing season on Sunday in Denver, in a showdown for AFC West supremacy. But he produces with such regularity, that the Chargers are hard-pressed to describe him.

"He's the ultimate competitor," Rivers said. "He is the greatest at what he does, but he competes, he battles, he hates to lose."

Coach Marty Schottenheimer is quick to tell anyone he is an English major. But even he searches for the right words.

"The superlative about him are sometimes hard to come up with," Schottenheimer said. "I have to tell you that I stand in amazement on the sideline sometimes. Some of the things that he does are remarkable."

Which goes back to Rivers' chat before the second half. When telling Tomlinson about the plan, the superstar didn't mope or complain. He nodded accordingly and went to work.

"If there was ever a consummate team player," Schottenheimer said, "it is LaDainian Tomlinson."

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