for this game

Tomlinson's big second half lifts Chargers past Browns

Nov 6, 2006 - 12:55 AM SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- LaDainian Tomlinson left the Cleveland Browns feeling blue.

Tomlinson rushed for 143 of his 172 yards and three touchdowns in the second half as the San Diego Chargers posted a 32-25 victory over the Browns.

With the Browns controlling the ball, Tomlinson gained 43 yards on seven carries in the first half. The three-time Pro Bowler was nearly unstoppable over the final 30 minutes, doing his damage on 11 attempts.

"Early on, we didn't run the football much," Tomlinson said. "I thought that we handled their defensive lineman and linebackers all day long, even though we didn't run that much. It was just a matter of time before we really got to the run and started being really effective.

"I just had to wait my turn and do the little things, and then when I finally got my turn and carried it a little bit, the line made sure I got some yards."

Tomlinson reached the end zone on runs of 41 yards in the third quarter and seven and eight yards in the fourth quarter as the Chargers overcame a 12-10 halftime deficit.

It was the third 100-yard game of the season and 31st career for Tomlinson, who leads the NFL with 14 total touchdowns, 12 of which have come on the ground.

"He's the best that I've ever seen," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "I've said it before. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the most accurate."

Led by Tomlinson, the Chargers (6-2) remained tied with Denver for first place in the AFC West. San Diego also improved to 4-0 at home despite committing 12 penalties for 113 yards.

"We showed the makings of a pretty solid football team today, because we obviously did not play our best throughout the 60 minutes," Schottenheimer said. "What we did was we made plays in enough circumstances that we got ourselves a victory. I've always said that the very best of teams find a way to win when they don't play their best. Our football team battled and found a way to win."

Philip Rivers provided a complement to Tomlinson in the running game, completing 19-of-28 passes for 211 yards.

Phil Dawson kicked a club-record six field goals for the Browns (2-6). He converted from 37, 20, 42, 30, 36 and 35 yards.

"Our guys played good for three quarters, and then San Diego was able to turn the tide in the field position battle," Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. "In the fourth quarter when we needed to stop them, we weren't able to do it. They were able to run LaDainain and he was gashing us off tackle, and so that hurt."

The Browns also received a big game from tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., who had 11 catches for 78 yards. His father played with the Chargers from 1979-87, making five Pro Bowls.

Linebacker Marques Harris, playing in place of the injured Shaun Phillips, recovered a fumble by Browns quarterback Charlie Frye in the end zone with 5:49 left in the first half to give the Chargers a 10-6 lead.

Dawson converted from 42 and 30 yards in the final 2:44 of the half to give the Browns the lead at intermission.

With just over a minute left in third quarter, Tomlinson busted up the middle and cut to his left for a 41-yard touchdown to give the Chargers a 17-12 lead.

Dawson answered with a 36-yard field goal 41 seconds into the fourth quarter before Tomlinson went back to work.

Tomlinson capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive with a seven-yard TD around the right side with 9:15 remaining. He had runs of 10, nine and 12 yards on the march.

Dawson's 35-yard field goal with 5:29 left pulled the Browns within 24-18.

However, the Chargers quickly answered on Tomlinson's eight-yard TD with 3:53 to go. Tomlinson had a 32-yard run and speedster Michael Turner broke off a 21-yard gain on the march.

"Every time he touches the ball, he's going to get yards," Browns linebacker Andra Davis said. "He showed he's one of the best today. He just got away from us."

Frye capped the scoring with a four-yard TD pass to Braylon Edwards with 71 seconds remaining.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!