2006 was a magical year for the Chargers. It was the first season under the Philip Rivers regime, after Drew Brees left for New Orleans. And as soon as that happened, all they did was win. They came away with a 14-2 record on the year, just getting it done every week.
Twice in the three prior years, the all-time record for most TD’s by a field player was broken. And then again of course, it happened again in 2006. Ladanian Tomlinson has already been impressive, and he only got better.
In this week’s edition of Flashback Friday, we look back at his season.
28 On the Ground
LT was an absolute beast in the 2006 season, and wasted no time getting it going. He ran for 131 yards and one score in the opening week, and then, after a slight dry period, he absolutely turned it on. He ran for only 71 yards against the 49ers in Week 5, but found the end zone in four different occasions.
And in every single game between week 7 and week 15, he rushed for over 100 yards. And he rushed for multiple scores in all of those games, proving that nobody could stop him. Nine games in a row with multiple rushing touchdowns is not something we have seen since, because of the toll it takes, and just how difficult it really is.
The other crazy part, is that their bye week happened very early, during week 3. And he trucked along for 14 straight weeks.
There were five games during the year where LT had zero scores. So, to be able to get 28 in an 11-game window pretty much, is wild.
Three More as a Receiver
LT the running back amassed 1,815 yards (5.22 ypc) during the year. And as a receiver, he caught 50 balls for 508 yards. He had at least one reception in all 16 of the team’s games. He was a reliable option out of the backfield.
He had touchdowns against the Chiefs, Rams and Broncos. He was there for Rivers when he needed someone to toss the ball to. With Vincent Jackson (RIP) and Antonio Gates leading the receiving unit, they were able to call some nice plays for Tomlinson in the backfield.
He scored his final receiving TD In week 10.
Two More Passing Touchdowns for Good Measure
Passing touchdowns don’t count toward the total, but LT made sure that he had all his bases covered. The running back threw for a pair of scores during the year, with the first of them coming against the Chiefs.
The second of them was against the Raiders during a narrow victory in week 11. He was all over the place throughout the year, and just could not be stopped.
A Season to Remember
There is not much more Tomlinson could have done during the year. The team went 14-2, and he won not only the Offensive Player of the Year, but the MVP too. He amassed over 2,300 all-purpose yards, dominating throughout the season.
They did in fact lose 24-21 to the Patriots in the divisional round, but it does not erase all the amazing things he was able to do.