How LaDainian Tomlinson matched the NFL touches record in a battle for first place

How LaDainian Tomlinson matched the NFL touches record in a battle for first place

– [Narrator] Welcome to “One Man Army.” The game where you amass
as many touches as possible before time runs out. The key here, is to level up enough to convince your coach to just keep feeding you the ball. But you can’t shoulder an entire offense until you prove your teammates
aren’t worth the time. And you can’t rely on your
quarterback to throw it to you, so get up there and take it from him. You are your team’s only hope. Now, get out there and prove it. In order to set a high score
for touches in an NFL game, you need to be the focal
point of an offense. In order to remain the
focal point of an offense, you need to deliver. Which requires a lot more
when you’re on a great team compared to a losing one. But in 1997, Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis was up to the task. He finished the season tied for first in rushing touchdowns and was second in rushing yards, behind only the legend Barry Sanders. Davis helped lead his team
to a 12 and four record, and a Superbowl win against Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. For his efforts, he was
named Superbowl MVP. Alongside John Elway, Davis was the heart and
soul of the Football team. But, on October 26th, in a week nine matchup against the Bills, Elway took a backseat, and the running back known
as T.D. went to work. Even at six and one, the
Broncos had Kansas City nipping at their heels in the standings. If they wanted to ensure a playoff birth, they needed every win they could get. The four and three Bills
were far from a gimme, but given the Broncos’ fight
for the top of the standings, it was a team they were expected to beat. Both teams had a top ten defense, and neither team was
particularly effective through the air that day. Elway threw for only 133 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. But Davis came to the rescue and rushed 12 times
more than Elway passed. Entering the game, Davis was
the AFC’s leading rusher, so when you have that kind
of player on your side, sometimes you just have to lean on them. The Bills made a late
run to send it to O.T., but it ended after four
straight rushes by Davis, set up a game-winning field goal. Those final rushes brought
his total touches to 47, good enough for a spot on
the high score leaderboard, just not the top spot. 47 is a great achievement,
but two players managed to get their hands on the ball 48 times. Only one of them did it in regulation. Another October game, this time in 1983, saw the Buccaneers face
off against the Steelers. Pittsburgh was on their
way to a first-place finish in their division, but
to get there, they needed to rack up the wins
against God-awful teams like the Buccaneers, who
entered the game win-less. Unlike Davis, Elway, and the
Super Bowl winning Broncos, the Buccaneers were trash. Their one bright spot was third-year running back James Wilder, and the coaches knew it. Even if a Wilder-centric
offense became ineffective, they really didn’t have much of a choice. The Bucks managed to jump
out to a 12-0 lead, but the Steelers were able to adjust to the “give the ball
to Wilder” game plan. The Bucks on the other
hand did not adjust. They continued to feed Wilder, even as the game slipped away. He finished with 42 rushing attempts, and was on the receiving
end of nearly half of Q.B. Jack Thompson’s completions. The Steelers, however,
walked away with a victory. After the game, Steelers Q.B. Cliff Stoudt recalled “We were all thinking, ‘Oh God. Are we going to be the first
team to lose to these guys?'” If the Bucks had a
second offensive option, maybe they would have walked
away with their first win, but they didn’t because they were trash. Jack Thompson stated after the game, “We weren’t sitting on the lead,
we stuck to the game plan.” They sure did. And that game plan was, lose. Wilder continued to be
the Bucks’ centerpiece, and the following year, he
had 47 touches in a game, one off of his record, on route to a single season touch record. He sits atop the leaderboard
with the top two scorers, but he isn’t alone. The only other player
with 48 touches in a game is Hall of Famer Ladainian Tomlinson. In a matchup dubbed the
battle of the running backs, rookie Clinton Portis
and his Denver Broncos met with Tomlinson and the Chargers in a battle for first place in the division late in the 2002 season. A 43-yard run by Clinton Portis towards the end of the first quarter put the Broncos up 10-nothing. But, not to be outdone, Tomlinson immediately
busted out a 76-yard run, followed by a three-yarder,
to punch it into the end zone. The Chargers may have had a
young Drew Breeze under center, but it was clear. If they were going to win this game, it would be at the hands of L.T. Tomlinson hammered through
for two more touchdowns before Portis found the end zone again. With just over a minute
remaining in the fourth quarter, the Broncos put one through
the uprights to tie the game. With the clock ticking, the Chargers’ final drive of regulation would have to rely on the passing game. Which turned out to be a good reminder of why the Chargers were
leaning so heavily on L.T. One completion was followed by three incompletions and a punt. The team needed to put the
ball in Tomlinson’s hands, which is exactly what
they did in overtime. After forcing the Broncos to punt, the Chargers handed it off to
Tomlinson four straight times to set up an easy 38-yard field goal. But it was blocked. A missed Broncos field
goal on the other end handed the ball back to San
Diego and gave L.T. the chance to rack up six more rushes,
bringing his touch total to 48 and setting up the
game-winning field goal. Once the game ended,
Tomlinson told reporters, “I don’t know if I had
anything left in me, I was too tired to celebrate.” I got sore just saying that,
but I sit for a living. In today’s passing-focused
league, it’s hard to find a team that will depend
on their ground game. And when they do, it’s almost always a running back by committee, giving less opportunity
for a single running back to shoulder the load of an entire offense. The only players with more
than 40 touches in a game since 2010 are DeMarco
Murray, David Johnson, and Le’Veon Bell. In Bell’s case, he found
himself in the prime position. He was the clear workhorse back in a game against Buffalo in the snow. Once inclement weather is involved, the passing game becomes
immediately more risky. But if you have one of the best
running backs in the league, the choice becomes clear. Feed him. Ben Roethlisberger threw
three interceptions, but Bell was rock-solid,
racking up three touchdowns and 298 yards from
scrimmage on 42 touches. A high score for the decade, but still only sniffing
at the touch leaderboard. With a focus on the passing game, you’d think that more receivers
would get into the mix, but the wide outs with the
most touches in the game have only 21. Brandon Marshall, which
was all receptions, and Terrell Owens who had 20
receptions and a five-yard run. It’s a running back record, and with a shift away from
ground and pound offenses, it might be quite some time before we see another high score.

Daniel Ostrander

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33 thoughts on “How LaDainian Tomlinson matched the NFL touches record in a battle for first place

  1. John Muhonen says:


  2. Clayton Hurdle says:

    Derrick Henry could do it.

  3. lazarbro says:

    Can, atleast for season 2, we have videos on normal stats?

  4. MadelineMae says:

    I know that this isn’t a rewinder video but could you please do a video about the pine tar incident?

  5. Brock Page Productions says:

    Thanks a lot

  6. kicking222 says:

    This isn't a BAD episode, but it's definitely the worst episode of a great series.

  7. warfjm says:

    Let's be clear, these are the most touches that are not the Center and QB.

  8. Robert Gollnick says:

    LT is the goat

  9. Rodrigo de Piérola says:

    I'm not sure if getting the record in OT counts, especially if the other 48 was in just 4 quarters.

  10. D Cons says:

    Cassius Marsh forgetting how to tackle with more visual evidence

  11. M Chaney says:

    Terrell Davis was old too when he did it..which is insane.

  12. Jordy Garcia says:

    Shoutout to all the Broncos references

  13. Kyle Chermak says:


  14. Mr. Cub Fan 415 says:

    Terrell Davis would have been one of the top 10 running backs of all time if he hadn’t gotten hurt

  15. Lmenzol says:

    Wow doesn’t start talking about Lt till more than halfway through…

  16. Jose Morales says:

    Love LT

  17. theo adams says:

    Tomlinson or Ricky Williams in his prime. Who you got?

  18. Chick-fil-A says:

    And somehow Terrell Davis still hasn't made it into the hall of fame….

  19. Aldrin Mejia says:

    Hope do rewinder of unc vs Villanova NCAA championship

  20. CaiominTwin says:

    Do ejections for baseball managers

  21. Jackson Sciotto says:

    You should do most dunks in a nba game like shaq and Kareem

  22. Derek Fischer says:

    What about the centers

  23. Ozamataz Buckshank says:

    Sbnation: makes great, creative videos
    Sbnation fans: wHeRe Is JoN bOiS¿¿

  24. alex Motts says:

    TD>LT. fight me

  25. chaim cohn says:

    I wouldnt be surprised if saquon barkley did it

  26. Hugo King says:

    The way the Giants look Barkley might break that this year.

  27. tiDDies aTTic says:

    Joe Biden = Most Touches🤢

  28. Hunter 1213 says:

    You should have looked at his ridiculous touchdown record

  29. Peter Časnocha says:

    how about most saves made by an nhl goalie

  30. Stuart Ayers says:

    Clicked expecting to see clips of LaDainian Tomlinson running the football. Left disappointed.

  31. Judah Gordon says:

    Well the giants got saquan and no other options this could be beat

  32. c619cuesta says:

    They ran him in to the ground and then made him play on the jets t

  33. Randy Talltree says:

    Will we see a Steelers Collapse video in a few years? They look primed to have one happen.

  34. Hershel WalkerJR says:


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