"The hoopla is over about the record and as much as you try and avoid it you think about it," Tomlinson admitted. "As a player you want it to get over and now you can get back to playing football."
"I turned into a cheerleader for 12 seconds," linebacker Shawne Merriman said. "He just walked in. I am very proud of him."
Tomlinson scored once in the second quarter and twice in the fourth quarter.
After his final score, he called his teammates into the end zone to celebrate with him. He wanted to share the glory. The record wasn't about a single player. It was about what he and his team have accomplished.
Sitting at 11-2, the Chargers are in control of their fate. Having a back like LaDainian Tomlinson, a consummate professional, only enhances the MVP candidacy.
"I was happy for my teammates," he said. "These are the moment we are going to remember; when my offensive line gets older they will be able to tell their grandchildren about it. I wanted everyone to share that moment with me. Lifting me – it was incredible. I couldn't have had a better feeling."
He set a new Chargers single-season record with his eighth 100-yard game of the year, netting 103 yards on 28 carries. He broke the mark he shared with Don Woods (1974). The Bolts have won every game this year that he has topped 100 yards and have won 20 straight games where he has rushed for 100 yards or more, dating back to 2003.
He is now just two points shy of Paul Hornung's single-season NFL record for points in a season (176). Hornung reached 176 points by scoring 15 touchdowns (90 points), while kicking 15 field goals (45 points) and 41 PATs. His 174 points stand second on the list; he passed Shaun Alexander (168 points) and former Minnesota kicker Gary Anderson (164) on Sunday.
Tomlinson has scored 26 touchdowns and thrown two TD passes in the last nine games alone. He's just 94 yards away from racking up the third 2,000-yard season of his career and his first since 2003.
"It is meaningful," Tomlinson said of setting the record on the same day the Chargers clinched the AFC West. "Not only get the record but clinch the division and a playoff spot and take over the number one seed. So many special things."
A new NFL record with three games to go. The first team in the NFL to reach 11 wins. A division title. There is work to be done but this is certainly a nice start.