As weird as it may sound to some, Ladainian Tomlinson really hasn't had that bad of a season. Sure his numbers are down this year, but lets put things into perspective; LT has to live up to these epic standards because he's set the bar so damn high. Here is a guy who has been rewriting the record books for eight straight seasons. His touchdown total rose year-after-year for six seasons in a row until finally breaking the single-season touchdown record in 2006.
People have so quickly forgotten what LT has meant to the San Diego community, and what he has done to change the perception of the San Diego Chargers. He's done so much for the game, and yet his bandwagon is darn near empty.
This is Ladainian freaking Tomlinson - the guy deserves to have one bad season. He's earned at least that much.
And like I said, his season hasn't been that bad. With a couple of back-to-back 100 yard games, LT can finish up the regular season with 1200 yards rushing, a double-digit touchdown total, and 450 yards receiving. I know LT is held to a different standard, but those are really good numbers especially considering he might not even get 300 carries this year.
If you look at his receiving numbers, they're just as good as Maurice Jones-Drew's and Reggie Bushes. In fact, LT is among the league leaders in receptions for his position. 8 yards per catch, with 9 yards YAC is really freaking good. Any running back in the league would take those numbers in a heartbeat. LT is as good as ever with the ball in space. Running the ball is a different story and if you're looking for answers there, start with the team's offensive approach to the run game.
Asked this week if he expects a greater commitment to running the ball considering the Tampa Bay Bucs are missing some key defensive linemen, Tomlinson simply responded:
"Has anything changed? I mean we've been doing it for fifteen weeks now. Nothing's really changed. It's going to be the same."
Lets hope that the San Diego Chargers can establish the run against a tough Tampa defense, that LT finishes the year on a strong note, and that the team gains some momentum at a time when they could be looking towards a possible playoff berth.