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View Full Version : LaDainian Tomlinson - going downhill?


Matthew Jones
11-16-2008, 05:32 PM
This guy seems to be going downhill pretty fast in my opinion. While at one point he was clearly the best running back in the league, I don't think this year he's even in the top five. Over the past three years, he's gone from 28 touchdowns to 15 touchdowns to 5 (incl. so far in the Steelers game) and his YPC has dipped significantly (about 1.5 yards.) Does LT just have too many touches? He seems to be doing what Edgerrin James is and just becoming a three yards and a cloud of dust guy.

So far:

2 games with 5-5.9 yards per carry
1 game with 4-4.9 yards per carry
2 games with 3-3.9 yards per carry
4 games with 2-2.9 yards per carry (5 if he finishes this game how he started it)

2 games over 100 yards (Raiders/Saints)
3 games under 50 yards (not incl. this game)

3 games in which he has scored a rushing touchdown (incl. this game)

I'm trying to give the guy the benefit of the doubt for having taken so many carries but I just can't really see him as one of the five or ten best running backs in the league this year. Even guys like Thomas Jones are way ahead of him statistically, and I can't shake the feeling that with the coming of Norv Turner, the Chargers became Philip Rivers' team, where Tomlinson is a member of Rivers' supporting cast rather than a focal point. What do you all think?

BmoreBlackByrdz
11-16-2008, 05:36 PM
I don't this hes going to be that "fantasy star" anymore but I think he will still be an effective RB for maybe 2 more years, then he can go be the next Shaun Alexander, RB's do have short careers and I think L.T. will prove it to us in a couple years. Hope he gets a ring though..

Rayray52
11-16-2008, 05:43 PM
I was hoping that he would break some of Emmit Smith's records and get a ring but at the pace hes going it seems unlikely, hopefully his foot/toe is still bothering him and he will rebound.

Mr. Stiller
11-16-2008, 05:44 PM
I think San Diego Lacking a passrush/defense is really limiting his opportunities in all reality.

Jimmy
11-16-2008, 05:48 PM
I think San Diego Lacking a passrush/defense is really limiting his opportunities in all reality.

wouldn't that increase his carries and time on the field?
and its not liek he's not getting carries, he's 9th in the league in touches

jballa838
11-16-2008, 05:52 PM
wouldn't that increase his carries and time on the field?
and its not liek he's not getting carries, he's 9th in the league in touches
Good D= Shor Drives for Opponents = Punts = SD Leads = More Rushes.

Paranoidmoonduck
11-16-2008, 05:55 PM
Even guys like Thomas Jones are way ahead of him statistically, and I can't shake the feeling that with the coming of Norv Turner, the Chargers became Philip Rivers' team, where Tomlinson is a member of Rivers' supporting cast rather than a focal point. What do you all think?

I think this is what the Chargers desperately want to believe, but that offense is screwed without Tomlinson. That passing game has deep strike ability, but it doesn't consistently stay on the field, which makes their defense play an extremely high number of snaps. And their defense isn't in great shape this year even without spending excessive time on the field.

Tomlinson has had a rough season, but that offensive line hasn't been the same in the run game and toe injuries are a bit thing for a guy who plants and cuts as often as he does.

Tomlinson isn't 25 anymore. He isn't going to be the best runner in the NFL anymore. But I've thought I saw him slowing before (2004) and he came back with three excellent seasons. In short, I can't make any sort of prediction, because I honestly think that if that Charger offensive line was in its 2006 form and LT was healthy, he'd be near the top of the rushing pile.

Wait until next year. Either the Chargers, who get to see him every practice, will stick with him and that team will hopefully improve around him, or they'll go out and land a replacement.

RaiderNation
11-16-2008, 05:55 PM
He is 29 years old now. Thats the age where most RB's start slowing down. I expect him to still be a factor, but not like he was the last couple years

BmoreBlackByrdz
11-16-2008, 05:56 PM
I also think under Norv, the Chargers are more of a pass first team. Plus they've got injuries everywhere. I think the team itself is just having a bad year.

Gay Ork Wang
11-16-2008, 06:08 PM
He is still the best receiving RB in this game

Matthew Jones
11-16-2008, 06:17 PM
He is still the best receiving RB in this game

I think Westbrook and Bush better, and maybe even Kevin Faulk.

Tomlinson projected - 59 catches
Westbrook projected - 52 catches (and he's been hurt)
Bush projected - 75 catches (and he's been hurt)
Faulk projected - 48 (as a backup)

Rayray52
11-16-2008, 06:17 PM
He is still the best receiving RB in this game


Reggie Bush

bantx
11-16-2008, 06:19 PM
If people actually watch a game instead of looking at stats, u would see that the line has been playing piss poor in run blocking.

Number 10
11-16-2008, 06:27 PM
You have to take into consideration the amount a toe injury can affect a RB, especially one like Tomlinson. His best days were a direct result of his ability to cut on a dime and sneak through a hole that many backs couldn't. I don't care what reports say, his toe isn't and won't be 100% this year.

Number 10
11-16-2008, 06:27 PM
With that said, San Diego needs to get a compliment RB back there other than Sproles.

Basileus777
11-16-2008, 06:35 PM
With that said, San Diego needs to get a compliment RB back there other than Sproles.

They did trade up for Hester, he just isn't any good.

bantx
11-16-2008, 06:40 PM
Please dont remind me that we did that

619
11-16-2008, 06:46 PM
He is still the best receiving RB in this game

Reggie Bush

Stats don't lie.

I've heard that for the better part of the season LT has been running 'scared' or afraid of contact. If that's the case it may be more of a mental issue rather than physically although I'm still not 100% certain what to make of this toe injury to this point.

CC.SD
11-16-2008, 06:50 PM
Please dont remind me that we did that

Why, you don't think this team could use it's 2nd rounder next year instead of a useless white slow rb/fb tweener? It's okay, maybe New England will give it back to us.

I'll always love SD but this team is officially circling the drain. AJ Smith's recent major gaffe's (replacing 14-2 Marty with NORV, 1st round nonfactors like Davis and Cason, 2nd round busts like Eric Weddle and Jacob Hester, Ted Cottrell, no free agency, refusal to address the O-line) have closed the door on our championship window.

For the record I was ridiculously high on Cason but the guy has disappeared since the opening month of the season, and that's unacceptable.

I was also ridiculously high on this team but all you have to do is look at the players laughing and joking after these losses, continue dancing after insignificant tackles, and just hope wholesale changes are coming.

Ward
11-16-2008, 06:52 PM
Honestly, with recent "best" RBs in the league fizzling out so fast after reaching the top, this makes me appreciate what Emmitt Smith did even more. It's just another reminder of the old Not For Long cliche.

Matthew Jones
11-16-2008, 06:53 PM
You have to take into consideration the amount a toe injury can affect a RB, especially one like Tomlinson. His best days were a direct result of his ability to cut on a dime and sneak through a hole that many backs couldn't. I don't care what reports say, his toe isn't and won't be 100% this year.

I've heard that for the better part of the season LT has been running 'scared' or afraid of contact. If that's the case it may be more of a mental issue rather than physically although I'm still not 100% certain what to make of this toe injury to this point.

Tomlinson doesn't look tough or quick at all this year, which is what happened to Shaun Alexander immediately preceding his free fall. LaDainian: stop whining about being nicked up - we're past halfway into the year, every player is nicked up. Deal with it.

Zyro_1014
11-16-2008, 07:00 PM
Tomlinson doesn't look tough or quick at all this year, which is what happened to Shaun Alexander immediately preceding his free fall. LaDainian: stop whining about being nicked up - we're past halfway into the year, every player is nicked up. Deal with it.

Alexander also had the benefit of having the best left side maybe in the history of the game with Walter Jones and Hutchinson...they never ran to the right lol.

i think alot of LT's problems this year have come from the injury. just seems like an injury that would just keep bothering him with the way he runs.

Shiver
11-16-2008, 07:00 PM
Why don't you guys get a shovel.. Count him out at your own peril. He will not return to his MVP form, but I don't think he is going to fade into oblivion as easy as you all think he will.

tjsunstein
11-16-2008, 07:06 PM
One bad year doesn't break a career. You also have to look at the overall team play.

CC.SD
11-16-2008, 07:07 PM
Honestly, with recent "best" RBs in the league fizzling out so fast after reaching the top, this makes me appreciate what Emmitt Smith did even more. It's just another reminder of the old Not For Long cliche.

I'm sorry I told myself I was going to stay out of this thread, but this is just revisionist history.

LT has been setting records since 2001. I don't know if you're watching Charger games but the blocking hasn't been there, and the defense couldn't get off the field if it was on fire (which it might be by our next home game).

To lump him in with any one-shot wonder is just plain dumb. To put "best" in quotes...also dumb. As much as I pride myself on sarcasm I usually make it a point to avoid anything personal or actually insulting.

The casual fan wondering "LT might be slowing done" or "LT is having a bad year," that's okay with me. Everyone is entitled to their opnion.

But when the line gets crossed to "LT was never that great, he fizzled out fast", that is straight up stupid.

and now it's time to get drunk. I suspect threads like this will be popping up for the rest of the season, so I've gotta pace myself. :D

tjsunstein
11-16-2008, 07:10 PM
I'm sorry I told myself I was going to stay out of this thread, but this is just revisionist history.

LT has been setting records since 2001. I don't know if you're watching Charger games but the blocking hasn't been there, and the defense couldn't get off the field if it was on fire (which it might be by our next home game).

To lump him in with any one-shot wonder is just plain dumb. To put "best" in quotes...also dumb. As much as I pride myself on sarcasm I usually make it a point to avoid anything personal or actually insulting.

The casual fan wondering "LT might be slowing done" or "LT is having a bad year," that's okay with me. Everyone is entitled to their opnion.

But when the line gets crossed to "LT was never that great, he fizzled out fast", that is straight up stupid.

and now it's time to get drunk. I suspect threads like this will be popping up for the rest of the season, so I've gotta pace myself. :D

This made me chuckle, as wrong and heartless as it was.

BamaFalcon59
11-16-2008, 07:33 PM
Tomlinson will be fine. Great runningbacks don't slow down till 32 or 33. LT is a great runningback. He will have another two twelve hundred yard seasons after this one, at minimum.

Paranoidmoonduck
11-16-2008, 08:13 PM
Tomlinson doesn't look tough or quick at all this year, which is what happened to Shaun Alexander immediately preceding his free fall. LaDainian: stop whining about being nicked up - we're past halfway into the year, every player is nicked up. Deal with it.

The difference is that Shaun Alexander was never particularly tough or quick. LaDainian Tomlinson is the best runner the NFL has seen since Sanders retired.

Tailbacks are unpredictable guys. I know I'm not the only one who thought Joe Gibbs was going to grind the explosiveness out of Clinton Portis. If the San Diego offense gels just right in 2009, I think Tomlinson is going to put together a really nice year.

LonghornsLegend
11-16-2008, 08:54 PM
With that said, San Diego needs to get a compliment RB back there other than Sproles.

That's all I think it is, put another nice compliment back there even if you have to spend an early pick, forget trying to give him 30 touches a game...I bet they wish they could of kept Turner around a little longer though.


I don't think he's done though, I think after an off-season and time to heal he will bounce back and produce, no where near breaking records but he will be a solid back, he still looks explosive to me but he just cannot cut the same.

Mr. Stiller
11-16-2008, 10:47 PM
wouldn't that increase his carries and time on the field?
and its not liek he's not getting carries, he's 9th in the league in touches

Yeah, it would increase his carries/time on the field. Which generates more opportunities. They'd also be able to build off the play action if they held the ball a little bit more.

I think SD has been playing behind a lot this season but I could be mistaken.

The Legend
11-16-2008, 10:58 PM
I do wonder if they got the number one overall pick for him would they trade him to the Lions.

Ward
11-16-2008, 11:50 PM
I'm sorry I told myself I was going to stay out of this thread, but this is just revisionist history.

LT has been setting records since 2001. I don't know if you're watching Charger games but the blocking hasn't been there, and the defense couldn't get off the field if it was on fire (which it might be by our next home game).

To lump him in with any one-shot wonder is just plain dumb. To put "best" in quotes...also dumb. As much as I pride myself on sarcasm I usually make it a point to avoid anything personal or actually insulting.

The casual fan wondering "LT might be slowing done" or "LT is having a bad year," that's okay with me. Everyone is entitled to their opnion.

But when the line gets crossed to "LT was never that great, he fizzled out fast", that is straight up stupid.

and now it's time to get drunk. I suspect threads like this will be popping up for the rest of the season, so I've gotta pace myself. :D

There's sort of a straw man thing going on here and I feel like I need to defend myself from your... defense.

My point was that it's hard to stay on top. I wasn't putting LT down, but just propping my old favorite 22 up. LT has done a lot of great things, and wasn't a "one year wonder" and I don't think I implied as much. But I do think that there's a clear pattern of halfbacks having big drop offs, and rightfully so. It's a physical, injury-prone position. I love LT, he's a Texas guy deep down so I had no intention of throwing any hate out there.

Vox Populi
11-17-2008, 12:16 AM
LT was looking good a couple times today and running well. Unfortunately the rest of the carries gained nothing or lost yardage. I remember today on the go ahead drive before Pitt came back and on the first couple carries he saw in the second quarter he was running well and there was actually room to run up front. LT is still probably the best back in the league when it comes to patience, vision and following his blockers, unfortunately though, his style relies too much on his blockers and cutting back into lanes that don't exist when he starts his break, so he hasn't been as effective this year with the play of his line and the foot injury. The thing that really stood out to me today though that sold me on LT not truly being done and it being largely to the play of the offensive line, at one point he was 7 carries for 20 yards, then 9 carries for 35 yards and then 15 carries for 36 yards during the game. LT's running is fine still, but he doesn't have the ability to create something out of nothing like he used to. He might not be THE BEST, but he is still in the top ten for sure.

illmatic74
11-17-2008, 06:59 PM
Tomlinson will be fine. Great runningbacks don't slow down till 32 or 33. LT is a great runningback. He will have another two twelve hundred yard seasons after this one, at minimum.RBS usually wear down at 29.

BamaFalcon59
11-17-2008, 07:25 PM
RBS usually wear down at 29.

I said great ones.

Menardo75
11-18-2008, 12:41 AM
Watching him play he is not the same guy. I don't know why, it could be for a lot of different reasons. Right now though he is not the same.

Zyro_1014
11-18-2008, 12:43 AM
Watching him play he is not the same guy. I don't know why, it could be for a lot of different reasons. Right now though he is not the same.

LT makes some of the best cuts you see in the game today, and an injury on the toe like he has had this year will limit those abilities to make the types of runs we are so used to see him make....he'll be fine

Menardo75
11-18-2008, 12:45 AM
LT makes some of the best cuts you see in the game today, and an injury on the toe like he has had this year will limit those abilities to make the types of runs we are so used to see him make....he'll be fine

Yeah im not making a decision on anything right now. Next year all the questions will be answered.

Zyro_1014
11-18-2008, 12:48 AM
Yeah im not making a decision on anything right now. Next year all the questions will be answered.

yeah we will see what happens when hes back to 100% again.

you need to update your sig....niners are 3-7 now bro ;)

oh yeah that quote in your sig is HILARIOUS! touche my friend lol

Menardo75
11-18-2008, 12:59 AM
yeah we will see what happens when hes back to 100% again.

you need to update your sig....niners are 3-7 now bro ;)

oh yeah that quote in your sig is HILARIOUS! touche my friend lol

It really is timeless.

jth1331
11-18-2008, 01:17 AM
Tomlinson will be fine. Great runningbacks don't slow down till 32 or 33. LT is a great runningback. He will have another two twelve hundred yard seasons after this one, at minimum.

Its really around 30. And even then, most hardly ever produced what they did in their prime. They all had "average" type years, and then really trailed off to nowhere.

LonghornsLegend
11-18-2008, 09:56 AM
Its really around 30. And even then, most hardly ever produced what they did in their prime. They all had "average" type years, and then really trailed off to nowhere.

It doesn't matter, this is the first season he's had to play through an injury, it's unfair to say he's not going to be a great back anymore because everyone is judging his play through this injury.


You don't get the injury pass forever, if he's banged up all next year then it's a legitimate question, but even though he got hurt in the playoffs last year this is the first season he's had to play through an injury...He's still looked good to me out there, he's just doesn't have the same explosiveness or agility with that toe injury, and no one would.


Look at Darren McFadden, he has toe injuries and it makes him look slow and pedestrian, but he's 22 years old so nobody would think twice about it.

ChezPower4
11-18-2008, 01:21 PM
Look at Darren McFadden, he has toe injuries and it makes him look slow and pedestrian, but he's 22 years old so nobody would think twice about it.

That is a very bad arguement, McFadden is like you said 22 and LT is now 30. him being 30 may be what causing his injuries. Hard to say for sure because LT has not been known to have lot of injuries buy you can't rule out the fact that he's 30 and his health may now be suffering because of that.

BamaFalcon59
11-18-2008, 01:48 PM
Its really around 30. And even then, most hardly ever produced what they did in their prime. They all had "average" type years, and then really trailed off to nowhere.

I said 'great'.

Walter Peyton from the age 30-32 averaged 1,522 yards per year.

Barry Sanders had 2,053 yards at age 29, 1,491 at age 30, his last year in the league.

Emmitt Smith had five seasons of at least 900 yards rushing after he turned 30.

And so on.

detknowitall
11-18-2008, 02:17 PM
He's not going downhill, he's having a rough year recovering from an injury that hurt him all last season. The whole Chargers team is having a bad year.

Menardo75
11-18-2008, 02:20 PM
He's not going downhill, he's having a rough year recovering from an injury that hurt him all last season. The whole Chargers team is having a bad year.

Thats a good point L.T. is having a down year just like the rest of the Chargers besides Rivers, who is having his best. If L.T. is playing like this next year I think there is a valid argument for him being worn down. I feel like a lot of it has to do with the loss of Lorenzo Neal. Also the O-line has not been as dominant as it has been.

jth1331
11-18-2008, 07:49 PM
I said 'great'.

Walter Peyton from the age 30-32 averaged 1,522 yards per year.

Barry Sanders had 2,053 yards at age 29, 1,491 at age 30, his last year in the league.

Emmitt Smith had five seasons of at least 900 yards rushing after he turned 30.

And so on.

They sure show signs of decline though. And Emmit Smith is by far the best example of that decline. His last 5 years in the league were average at best for a RB in the league. That is the best example of showing how a RB starts to hit a wall when he hits 30.
Sure, guys can be "successful" for a couple years after, but thats it, they are finished.
LT is on the decline. Saying otherwise IMO is showing ignorance.

bantx
11-18-2008, 07:55 PM
They sure show signs of decline though. And Emmit Smith is by far the best example of that decline. His last 5 years in the league were average at best for a RB in the league. That is the best example of showing how a RB starts to hit a wall when he hits 30.
Sure, guys can be "successful" for a couple years after, but thats it, they are finished.
LT is on the decline. Saying otherwise IMO is showing ignorance.

Saying LT is on the decline a season with injuries no LoNeal and line not performing is showing ignorance. Wait till next season to say hes on the decline.

LonghornsLegend
11-18-2008, 08:27 PM
They sure show signs of decline though. And Emmit Smith is by far the best example of that decline. His last 5 years in the league were average at best for a RB in the league. That is the best example of showing how a RB starts to hit a wall when he hits 30.
Sure, guys can be "successful" for a couple years after, but thats it, they are finished.
LT is on the decline. Saying otherwise IMO is showing ignorance.


Emmitt got nearly 300 carries at 35 years old, over 1000 total yards and 9 TD's when he was 35 years old while averaging 3.5 YPC, just for reference in 96' he averaged 3.7, and majority of his years he produced 1200 yards.


Emmitt is a bad example, first off everyone's stats decline to an extent with old age, to not expect that to happen otherwise with LT is ridiculous...Look at Emmitt's stats after the 95 season, he was coming off two back to back 25+ TD campaigns, and he never saw more then 13 rushing TD's again in his career...But he sustained his career and was consistently a solid back which is what I think LT will continue to be...Emmitt produced 3 1000 yd seasons and 2 900+ yard seasons after he turned 30, if LT can produce solid seasons like that he could end up the all-time leading rusher, decline or no decline.

Bruce Banner
11-18-2008, 08:27 PM
Emmitt had the best o-line evar!

CC.SD
11-25-2008, 10:03 AM
Surprising stat from the San Diego Union Tribune:

"– Here's an interesting comparison to begin the week of Michael Turner's return to San Diego. LaDainian Tomlinson has 1,099 yards from scrimmage this season on 242 touches (203 rushes, 39 receptions). Turner has 1,099 yards from scrimmage on 255 touches (251-4)."

Turner's definitely had the better season, but LT has still got some decent production despite a million reasons not to.

BamaFalcon59
11-25-2008, 04:09 PM
Receptions are a big part of that, especially the yards per touch. And Turner has like twice as many touchdowns with 13.

CC.SD
11-25-2008, 05:20 PM
Receptions are a big part of that, especially the yards per touch. And Turner has like twice as many touchdowns with 13.

No doubt about it, but it's still an interesting correlation.