L.T. was always a formidable foe

Posted Jun 18, 2012

Longtime Chiefs rival LaDainian Tomlinson announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday

LaDainian Tomlinson was no friend of Chiefs fans. But he was always respected.

In 18 career games against the Chiefs (17 with the Chargers and one with the Jets), L.T. rushed for more than 1,500 yards and hauled in more than 500 receiving yards. Combined, he found the end zone 15 times against Kansas City.

 “The performance that L.T. was able to put forth on the field during his career is truly remarkable,” former Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer told Schottenheimer coached Tomlinson in San Diego from 2002-06.

“When you look at the history of the game, he is clearly, in my opinion, one of the handful of elite and complete running backs in the history of the National Football League.”

As lethal as Tomlinson was against the Chiefs, he did greater damage to the Broncos in finding the end zone 22 times over his 19 career matchups vs. Denver. But it was the Raiders who suffered the most, allowing L.T. to find paydirt 26 times and run for more than 2,000 yards.

Over his 11-year NFL career, Tomlinson racked up 2,434 all-purpose yards against Oakland.

“The numbers aside, he just brought a tremendous threat to every opponent,” said Schottenheimer. “Not only did he have the ability to run the football but he also could catch it and gain yards after the catch. I think he posed considerable problems to every opponent because of his skill set, the versatility that he brought to his game. All of that pales in comparison to the quality of the young man. He is one of the finest young men I have ever been around in football or any area of my life.”

Always classy, Tomlinson was the type of player opposing fans hated on gameday but would welcome with open arms should the opportunity to switch jerseys ever arise.

L.T.’s best day against the Chiefs came during the 2006 campaign when he led the NFL with 1,815 rushing yards. He averaged 8.0 yards per carry and racked up 199 rushing yards in San Diego’s 20-9 Week 15 victory.

Tomlinson also registered a career-best 85-yard touchdown run in that game when DE Jared Allen was flushed outside to create a gaping hole off left tackle. L.T. then split CB Patrick Surtain and LB Derrick Johnson as he raced for the end zone to set an NFL record with his 28th touchdown run of the season.

Even when the Chiefs corralled Tomlinson, he still managed to find the end zone. L.T. scored six touchdowns in the six games Kansas City limited him to an average of 3.0 yards per carry or less.  

Tomlinson’s career rushing totals against the Chiefs

Tomlinson’s career receiving totals against the Chiefs

Stats splits courtesy STATS, Inc.