LA Chargers News

Flashback to the Chargers’ 2006 season: Part 2

By John Wozniak
CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 12: Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers runs with the ball during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on November 12, 2006 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Chargers defeated the Bengals 49-41. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 12: Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers runs with the ball during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on November 12, 2006 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Chargers defeated the Bengals 49-41. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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DENVER – NOVEMBER 19: Michael Turner #33 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against Louis Green#53 of the Denver Broncos on November 19, 2006 at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 35-27 (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER – NOVEMBER 19: Michael Turner #33 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against Louis Green#53 of the Denver Broncos on November 19, 2006 at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 35-27 (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

We left part one of the Los Angeles Chargers’ 2006 season with a 4-2 record. The Bolts picked up some admirable wins, including an opening day shutout of the Oakland Raiders. A narrow defeat at Kansas City in Week 7 was to be their last regular season loss.

Chargers’ 2006 season continues at full speed

Week 8 and a refreshed St. Louis Rams team came to town after a bye week holding an identical record as the Chargers. Marc Bulger was under center for the Rams who were shut out by the Chargers defense in the first quarter.

Bulger was sacked three times and despite throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, it wasn’t enough for the Rams. LaDainian Tomlinson dominated the game with 25 carries for 183 yards and two touchdowns. The elite running back wasn’t quite done there. LT had three receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown as well.

Marty Schottenheimer‘s team moved to 5-2 with a 38-24 victory. Shawne Merriman would play his last game before serving a four-game ban for substance misuse. The 2005 Defensive Rookie of the Year had three sacks on the day, taking his total to 8.5 for the season.

Reaching a milestone

Tomlinson surpassed 8,000 career yards. What nobody knew was that he would rush for over 100 yards for all but the last game of the regular season. There’s little wonder why so many fans regard LT as one of the greatest football players of all time. The Chargers’ No.21 addressed ESPN after the game.

“So many questions start to come when you don’t have 100 yards. People start to wonder, are you getting old or have you lost a step? For me, it’s all motivation. If I lost a step and had a day like this today, I’d hate to see if I was a young man what I would have done today with the kind of holes I ran through.”

Frye meets the defense

Romeo Crennel’s 2-5 Cleveland Browns were the next football team to leave the ‘Q’ empty-handed after a 32-25 loss. With no Merriman in the starting line up, Browns’ quarterback Charlie Frye may have thought he’d have an easier time of it. He was wrong.

The dominant Chargers defense sacked Frye five times for a total loss of 32 yards. Philip Rivers was sacked three times and he was held to 211 yards without a passing touchdown. With his team trailing at halftime, Schottenheimer needn’t have worried.

November 5 is synonymous with fireworks in Britain. There were certainly fireworks in San Diego when Tomlinson blew it up again. Cleveland’s run defense was helpless to stop Tomlinson, who found the end zone three times on 18 carries for 172 yards. It was another stellar win for the Chargers.

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