Future Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson heard all the rumors. Critics all across the country had called LT washed up, past his prime, saying he is no longer able to carry an offense.
Not so fast!
If you look at all the offseason moves the New York Jets made – Santonio Holmes, Jason Taylor, Antonio Cromartie – Tomlinson is proving to be the best pickup. The veteran back was expected to take a backup role behind Shonn Greene.
Tomlinson has been a spark for the New York Jets offense, making plays and looking like his “old” self. LT leads the team in rushing and is seventh in the entire NFL at 85.2 yards per game. That’s 85.2 yards per game while splitting carries with Greene.
Everyone knew Tomlinson would bring versatility to the Jets backfield. He has always been a player that could catch the ball and make plays via screen passes and short dump offs. Now, Tomlinson is showing that he is still able to carry an offense in both the passing and running game.
Tomlinson has rushed for 341 yards on just 56 carries, a 6.1 yard average. In contrast, Greene has carried the ball 52 times for 223 yards.
Yesterday’s game against the Buffalo Bills was Tomlinson’s best as a Jet. He carried the ball 19 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He showed off his agility at times as well as his speed. It was an effort many San Diego Chargers fans used to see in Tomlinson’s younger days. He also caught three passes for 22 yards in the Jets 38-14 win.
The Jets may have the weapon this offense needs to help this team get to the next level. With all the young talent on this squad - Greene, Holmes, Sanchez, Keller, Cotchery – the ageless wonder of Tomlinson has been the spark.
For all those that don’t think LT can keep this up, think again. He can stay fresh by continuing to split carries with Greene.
LaDainian Tomlinson is still a playmaker.