Bears
Chargers
3 - 14 Final
  for this game

Tomlinson uses his arm to beat Bears

Sep 10, 2007 - 1:11 AM By Tim Powers PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN DIEGO (Ticker) - LaDainian Tomlinson could not run the ball against the Chicago Bears defense, but he had no trouble throwing it.

Tomlinson completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antonio Gates, leading the San Diego Chargers to a 14-3 victory over the defending NFC Champion Bears on Sunday in the season opener.

Norv Turner got his first victory as coach of the Chargers. Turner replaced Marty Schottenheimer, who was fired following another disappointing playoff defeat despite a league-best 14-2 record.

"When I got this job, he said to me, 'You know, I throw the ball,'" said Turner of Tomlinson. "So, I thought it was a good opportunity. We had been in the red zone, and we obviously had struggled. It was the perfect situation."

The stout Chicago defense, which allowed the third-fewest points in the league a season ago, held Tomlinson to 13 yards on 13 carries late into the third quarter before the reigning MVP burned them with his arm.

San Diego took advantage of fortuitous field position gained when Mike Scifres' punt bounced off Brandon McGowan's leg and was recovered by Matt Wilhelm to give the Chargers the ball at the Chicago 29.

Quarterback Philip Rivers pitched the ball to Tomlinson, who swung right before lofting the pass to a wide-open Gates who just managed to stay inbounds and crossed the goal line, giving San Diego a 7-3 lead with 52 seconds left in the third.

"I knew from the jump that it was probably going to be a pretty good play," Tomlinson said. "I really couldn't tell, when Gates made his break, where he was. I just knew he was behind (safety Mike Brown). So, I wanted to hold and sell it as long as possible. I just tried just to throw it in there as hard as I could, and it worked out well."

Tomlinson added a fourth-quarter score on a 4-yard run to push the advantage to 14-3.

"That just shows you the kind of player (Tomlinson) is," Gates said. "When you've got a player like him, there is really no way to shut him down. He finds a way to win and finds a way to make the other guys on his team better. That's what he did today.

"Even though he wasn't successful running the ball, he still made plays to help us win the ballgame."

Coming off a record-setting season in which he scored 31 touchdowns, Tomlinson tallied just 25 yards on 17 carries in this one, in addition to the two touchdowns. He also caught seven passes for 51 yards.

"I went into this game not expecting to have 150 yards or anything like that, especially with the kind of defense they play," Tomlinson said. "Their whole philosophy is to stop the run. My whole thing was to be patient and take what they give me, and for the most part I did that."

Gates led the San Diego receiving corps with nine receptions for 107 yards, including the go-ahead score.

Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman completed 12-of-23 passes for 145 yards with one interception.

"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot anytime we got a rhythym going," Grossman said. "They played well, but it just wasn't our day. It was mistakes that stopped our drives and we failed to get into the end zone, which is extremely disappointing."

"Our defense, not only did they contain and stop them, but we created the turnovers that decided the game," Turner said.

Bears running back Cedric Benson ran for 42 yards on 19 carries, while backup Adrian Peterson added 38 yards on seven carries but fumbled twice.

"We knew coming in that we were playing a good football team, and especially on the road, you have to stay away from turnovers," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "I liked the way we played defense today. But, in the end they made more plays than we did."

The opening-day loss was Chicago's first one following a season in which they won a division title. The Bears had gone 8-0 in such situations entering this season.

"We had all the opportunities in the world," Grossman said. "Our defense gave us a chance to win this game. It's just tough being in the game and knowing that you were right there, but weren't able to win for whatever reason."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 3 0 0 3
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 7 7 14 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: CHI - FG, ROBBIE GOULD 27 YD, 0:47. Drive: 8
    plays, 27 yards in 3:54. Key plays:
    Brown 27-yard interception return
    to San Diego 36; Benson 11-yard run
    to San Diego 25; Peters

    Sep 9 7:06 PM
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    pdxguy96 Added 5 roots

    Bears vs. ChargersSep 9 6:48 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    LADAINIAN TOMLINSON RECOVERED BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    CHICAGO 3
    SAN DIEGO 14 9:09 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bears vs. ChargersSep 9 6:41 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 3 0 3
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 7 7 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: CHI - FG, ROBBIE GOULD 27 YD, 0:47. Drive: 8
    plays, 27 yards in 3:54. Key plays:
    Brown 27-yard interception return
    to San Diego 36; Benson 11-yard run
    to San Diego 25;

    Sep 9 6:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    ANTONIO GATES 17 YD PASS FROM LADAINIAN TOMLINSON
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    CHICAGO 3
    SAN DIEGO 7 0:45 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Bears vs. ChargersSep 9 6:21 PM
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    Bears vs. ChargersSep 9 6:01 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 3 3
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 0 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: CHI - FG, ROBBIE GOULD 27 YD, 0:47. Drive: 8
    plays, 27 yards in 3:54. Key plays:
    Brown 27-yard interception return
    to San Diego 36; Benson 11-yard run
    to San Diego 25; Pet

    Sep 9 5:34 PM
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    Bears vs. ChargersSep 9 5:00 PM


  • NFL
    FG CHI
    ROBBIE GOULD 27 YD
    CHICAGO 3
    SAN DIEGO 0 14:13 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bears vs. ChargersSep 9 4:53 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 0
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE

    Sep 9 4:49 PM
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    Bears vs. ChargersSep 9 2:16 AM
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    Bears vs. ChargersSep 1 1:10 AM