Charting the battle of the backs

The performances of Ravens running back Jamal Lewis and Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson figure to weigh heavily on the outcome of today's game. Lewis leads the league in rushing after setting an NFL mark with 295 yards a week ago.

A look at both standout runners' past performances, how their respective football teams have done based on their rushing statistics along with coaches' commentary:

2003 rushing totals

Lewis 45-364-8.1 3 (No. 1 rusher in NFL)

Tomlinson 29-127-4.4 0 (No. 8 rusher in the AFC)

2002 rushing totals

Lewis 308-1,327-4.3 6 (No. 8 rusher in NFL)

Tomlinson 372-1,683-4.5 14 (No. 2 rusher in NFL)

Ravens' record when Lewis carries it 20 or more times: 18-2

Chargers' record when Tomlinson carries it 20 or more times: 12-8

Ravens' record when Lewis rushes for 100 yards or more: 12-1

Chargers' record when Tomlinson rushes for 100 yards or more: 6-5

Ravens' record when Lewis carries it less than 20 times: 6-13

Chargers' record when Tomlinson carries it less than 20 times: 1-13

Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer on Lewis: "I drew comparisons in my mind to Earl Campbell because he has such great power in his lower body. "He's a great finisher. He has the ability to make people miss in the secondary. This guy is going to be a problem for us."

Ravens coach Brian Billick on Tomlinson: "He's one of the dynamic backs in the league."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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