NFL Countdown: LaDainian Tomlinson's 31 TD season one for the history books

Kansas City Chiefs v San Diego Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v San Diego Chargers

LaDainian Tomlinson is considered by many to be one of the best running backs to ever grace a football field. He was drafted out of TSU. He was the fifth pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, taken by the then-San Diego Chargers.

To say that LT was a hit from the outset is an understatement. In his rookie season, he rushed for 1,236 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was named an All-Pro.

Happy 41st birthday to LaDainian Tomlinson, whose 2006 season was the greatest ever in fantasy football history: ▪️348 rushes, 1,815 yards, 5.2 avg, 28(!) TD▪️56 catches, 508 yards, 3 TD▪️20 passing yards, 2 TD▪️481.1 total points (most ever), 26.69 points per game

For the first eight years of his 11 year career, the running back surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for rushing yards. Let that sink in, for eight consecutive seasons he rushed for over 1,000 yards, while having 126 rushing touchdowns.

However, while they seem like good numbers, his efforts in the 2006 NFL season would be something unlike anything we have ever seen before.

Tomlinson explodes in 2006 masterclass

Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers

Heading into the 2006 season, LT was already a three-time All-Pro. He was one of the best backs in the game. But what he did throughout the season was something out of a video game.

Tomlinson played all 16 regular-season games. He rushed for 1,815 yards and 28 touchdowns. Just look at that, 28 touchdowns. If that wasn't enough, he also caught three passing touchdowns as well. This took his total tally for the season to 31.

On this date in 2006, LaDainian Tomlinson broke the single-season record with his 29th touchdown. @LT_21 finished the year with 31 and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. (Dec. 10, 2006)

That was unheard of. His record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season still stands to this day. Tomlinson broke Seattle's Sean Alexander's 2005 record of 27 rushing touchdowns. His record has been number one ever since.

Jonathon Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts rushed for 18 touchdowns last season as he was a dominant force. He still fell nine short of Tomlinson's record.

Tomlinson took all before him in 2006

The 28 rushing touchdowns is some feat for 16 games. However, he did not start the year in a blaze of glory.

Throughout the first six games, the running back scored seven touchdowns, which is a solid return. He only surpassed the 100-yard mark once. That was in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders, so he wasn't on world record pace.

Stat of the Day:LaDainian Tomlinson holds the #NFL record for most combined TDs scored in a season with 31 in 2006

However, after Week 6, Tomlinson exploded. He would then register nine consecutive games. He rushed for over 100 yards. During that nine-game span, he had game totals of 183, 172, 178, 199 and 123. Oh, and he also rushed for 21 touchdowns, too.

The superstar back had rushed for four touchdowns in a game twice. He had three rushing touchdowns three times in what was an incredible season.

A three-game stretch from Week 8 to Week 10 saw the running back rush for 381 yards and 10 touchdowns.

LaDainian Tomlinson scored 153 TDs in the 2000s, the most by any player in any decade.For that, he is welcomed into the Hall of Fame.

The running back was simply unstoppable. His efforts led him to be the NFL's MVP for the 2006 season. This feat was normally reserved for quarterbacks. Such was his dominance, however, that LT was crowned the Most Valuable Player.

The Chargers had a record of 14-2 for the season, largely due to number 21's dominance. The 2006 NFL season will go down in history as one of, if not the best, season by a running back.

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Edited by Windy Goodloe
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