SAN DIEGO (AP) With chants of "LT! LT!" pouring from the stands, LaDainian Tomlinson delivered a record and a division title for San Diego.
Tomlinson scored 3 touchdowns Sunday, including the final 2 in a span of 47 seconds late in the game, to break the NFL single-season record with 29 TDs. He led the Chargers to a 48-20 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Tomlinson had three scores overall.
The victory, coupled with Kansas City's 20-10 loss to Baltimore, gave the Chargers (11-2) their second division title in three seasons.
The Chargers also grabbed the inside track to home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs when Indianapolis lost 44-17 at Jacksonville to fall into a tie with Baltimore at 10-3.
But this game was all about Tomlinson, who has become the MVP frontrunner by scoring 26 touchdowns in the last nine games.
Tomlinson tied Shaun Alexander's record of 28, set in 2005, when he scored on a 6-yard run with 3:57 left. He got hit at the 3, but spun right and scored.
The Chargers got the ball back when Shawne Merriman recovered a fumble at the Denver 7. On the next play, with the crowd at full throat, Tomlinson ran to his left and scored.
He was mobbed in the end zone by his teammates, who hoisted him on their shoulders. He held up the ball and waved the index finger of his other hand.
"Once I got over the pylon, my initial thought process was to bring every guy on the offensive unit over to share that moment," Tomlinson said. "When we're old and can't play this game anymore, them are the moments we are going to remember, that we'll be able to tell our kids, tell our grandchildren. We can talk about something special that we did. We made history today.
"There's no better feeling than to share it with the group of guys that's in that locker room."
Denver (7-6) lost its fourth straight game.
Tomlinson, who also has thrown for 2 TDs that don't count toward his record, also tied John Riggins' 1983 record of seven straight multi-touchdown games. He finished with 103 yards on 28 carries, his seventh straight 100-yard game.
Tomlinson scored his first touchdown of the day early in the 2nd quarter, helping the Chargers take a 28-3 halftime lead. Antonio Gates caught 2 touchdown passes from Philip Rivers, and fullback Lorenzo Neal scored on a 4-yard trick play, perhaps a reward for all the blocking he does for Tomlinson.
But Denver rookie Jay Cutler made it a game, directing the Broncos to 17 3rd-quarter points to pull to 28-20.
Looking more poised than in his debut a week earlier, Cutler threw touchdown passes of 28 and 11 yards to rookie tight end Tony Scheffler in a span of 48 seconds. The second TD came three plays after Chargers rookie Antonio Cromartie fumbled on a kickoff return after being hit by Patrick Chukwurah, with Denver's Louis Green recovering at the San Diego 27.
Then Jason Elam kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 28-20.
But the Chargers' defense came up big, with Luis Castillo sacking Cutler and Merriman batting down a pass by Cutler on 4th down.