More flags being tossed

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

If more than the occasional NFL game has seemed to drag on ad nauseum this season, it hasn't been your imagination.

Perhaps not as vigilant as the league's crackdown on the rules, NFL zebras have been doing some serious flag throwing of their own as the season approaches the midway point.

A year ago at this point, there were an average of 17.1 penalties per game called. So far this season, it has been bumped to 18.8 per game.

"There is nothing worse than watching a game and having every other play a penalty," said Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, a member of the league's competition committee.

"Nobody wants that."

Seattle, traditionally one of the league's lesser penalized teams, is on pace for 110 fouls compared to 79 in 2004.

LT on empty?

It has been no secret that the key to stopping the San Diego Chargers is to stuff running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

Doing it has been another story until the Philadelphia Eagles held him to seven yards on 17 carries last week.

L.T. vows to rebound from the worst day of his career when the Chargers play the Kansas City Chiefs tomorrow. And there's evidence to suggest he can make it happen.

Since his rookie season in 2001, Tomlinson has been held to less than 50 yards on 12 occasions. Two times in games immediately following he has topped 200 yards.

"You obviously get motivated when you only rush for seven yards," Tomlinson said. "But at the same time, this is why it is the ultimate team game. Everybody has to be on the same page and that's what makes it great about our game."

Fantasy flop

The Indianapolis Colts may be 7-0 and cruising along comfortably, but Peyton Manning is well aware that he is a failure in some eyes.

The superstar quarterback hears it from fantasy football players wherever he goes.

"I (hear) the comparisons," Manning said. " 'He has this many touchdowns this year compared to last year.' People are benching me on their fantasy teams. They're starting one of the Jets quarterbacks over me. But the idea for us is to keep winning games."


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