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Chargers Sweat It Out

November 07, 2005|From Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — LaDainian Tomlinson and his San Diego Charger teammates watched the New York Jets get one final chance to pull out an improbable victory.

One thought must have crossed their minds: "Oh no. Not again."

No matter that Tomlinson was dazzling, with a career-high four touchdowns and one particularly stunning move that left Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law frozen in his tracks. Drew Brees fumbled with 3:06 to go, and a surprisingly effective Brooks Bollinger was 30 yards from leading the Jets to the winning score.

This was all too much for the Chargers, whose four losses all came in the closing minutes. But Quentin Jammer rescued San Diego when he batted down a fade pass for Justin McCareins on fourth and goal, preserving a 31-26 victory Sunday.

"It was nice. So many times we've been on the losing end of games like this. I figured one game would have to go our way," Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson scored on three runs and one catch, becoming the first Charger since Chuck Muncie against Denver on Nov. 29, 1981, to have four touchdowns in one game.

Jet starting quarterback Vinny Testaverde's strained right calf tightened up, so Bollinger replaced him in the third quarter, then threw two touchdown passes to make it a game.

Then John Abraham sacked Brees and forced a fumble, which Jonathan Vilma recovered. But the Jets (2-6) failed on four attempts from the three, and their disappointing season continued.

"We needed to make a play," Jammer said. "They ran a couple fades on me. I figured they were going to try to run another one and I just made a play on the ball."

Tomlinson, who finished with 25 carries for 107 yards, staked the Chargers (5-4) to a 21-10 halftime lead. On his 25-yard touchdown reception, Tomlinson took a short pass from Brees and scooted down the sideline. He juked out Law so badly, Law seemed to freeze in place.

The Jets' Curtis Martin had 21 carries for 72 yards and became the 16th player in NFL history to score 100 touchdowns on a one-yard run.

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