Chargers 24, Bills 21

Sunday, December 3rd 2006, 3:41 pm
By: News On 6

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) LaDainian Tomlinson was the ideal tonic for a blustery winter afternoon in Buffalo. The San Diego Chargers' defense was pretty hot, too, holding off the Bills' 2nd-half comeback bid on Sunday.

Tomlinson had 178 yards rushing and scored 2 touchdowns in a 24-21 victory, helping the Chargers (10-2) extend their winning streak to six. It was Tomlinson's sixth straight 100-yard game and seventh of the season.

With a 51-yard touchdown run in the 1st quarter, Tomlinson joined Eric Dickerson as the second NFL player to reach 1,200 yards rushing in each of his first six NFL seasons. The two scores gave Tomlinson 26 for the year, inching him within two of matching the single-season record set by Seattle's Shaun Alexander last year.

The Chargers' defense then did the rest in linebacker Shawne Merriman's first game back from a four-game steroid suspension. In a game San Diego never trailed, Merriman finished with 6 tackles and 2 sacks, while the defense forced 3 turnovers in the 1st half and 4 overall.

The Bills (5-7) were limited to 231 yards offense, and only had one drive in which they produced three 1st downs. Buffalo's first two scores came as result of short fields set up by San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers' fumble and a 32-yard punt return by Jim Leonhard.

Buffalo's final score came with Peerless Price's 6-yard catch with 30 seconds left. The Bills' bid to produce a third straight last-minute comeback ended when Buffalo failed on an onside kickoff attempt.