Tomlinson sets franchise mark in win over NinersOct 15, 2006 - 11:36 PM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- LaDainian Tomlinson used a career day to reach a milestone.
Tomlinson rushed for a career-high four touchdowns and Philip Rivers also enjoyed a huge game as the San Diego Chargers coasted to a 48-19 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
In helping the Chargers (4-1) to a 35-19 halftime lead, Tomlinson had touchdown runs of five, one and one yard. He added a five-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
The four TDs gave Tomlinson 87 in his career, surpassing Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (83) for the most in franchise history.
"It's nice to get the record," Tomlinson said. "Obviously I have a lot of people to thank, not just the guys that are here now, but a lot of the guys who were with me through all the six years that I've been here. All of those guys contributed to this record, and it's a tribute to them as well."
Chargers coach Marty Scottenheimer also continued to expand his playbook for Rivers, who was making just his fifth career start.
The fourth overall pick in the 2004 draft, Rivers rewarded the faith shown by his coach with the best game of his young career. He threw for 235 yards and both of his TDs in the first half, when the Chargers scored on five of their six possessions.
"We were determined to get off to a fast start," Rivers said. "We were in control the whole game. They had their moments in the first half, but we were able to put together a solid performance. It's something we can build on. To be honest, it's a game we should have won, and I'm pleased that we were able to take care of business."
The offensive show started early as Rivers threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates on the Chargers' sixth play from scrimmage.
Rivers also threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson less than four minutes into the second quarter, giving San Diego a 28-10 bulge.
Rivers completed 13 straight passes at one point and finished the half 19-of-24. He went 29-of-39 overall for a career-high 334 yards without a turnover.
"I thought Philip played extremely well," Scottenheimer said. "We did a good job with pass protection. He's very aware of what's going on around him, and that's reassuring for the coaches, because we know that he's going to do the right thing when he has to make tough decisions."
On his record-setting day, Tomlinson failed to gain huge yards but got the tough ones. He capped drives of 91, 72 and 35 yards with TD runs in the opening half.
Tomlinson's third score, a one-yard plunge over the top with 33 seconds left in the first half, gave the Chargers a 35-19 bulge.
Tomlinson rushed for 71 yards on 21 carries. The Pro Bowler also had seven receptions for 48 yards.
In the first half, the Chargers rolled up 287 yards and 20 first downs. They finished with 421 yards and 30 first downs in surpassing 40 points for the second time this season.
"Everyone was doing there job today," said Chargers wide receiver Keenan McCardell, who had six catches for 65 yards. "That's what this offense is about. Our defense started a little slow, but we picked them up. I think that's what team football is about. If we can continue to play like this, we're going to be tough."
"It was a very difficult loss, disappointing as well," Niner coach Mike Nolan said. "Our weaknesses in particular on defense, is that we continue to trouble on third down with our pass defense. We needed to get them in punting situations, and we couldn't do that."
Alex Smith had touchdown passes of 15 yards to Bryan Gilmore and two yards to fullback Moran Norris in the first half for the Niners (2-4).
Smith completed 20-of-31 passes for 214 yards with an interception. He also was sacked five times.
However, the Niners managed just 95 yards and were blanked over the final two quarters.
San Francisco has allowed a league-high 194 points.
"They did a great job of executing their offense," Niners cornerback Shawntae Spencer said. "They did what they needed to do, and we didn't. We knew that they have a lot of weapons over there, and they were able to use everyone today."
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