L.T. leading the Charge today

ROB LONGLEY

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Wherever he has rumbled this NFL season, LaDainian Tomlinson has shown he can rush for touchdowns, catch touchdowns and for good measure, throw for them too.

And for his next act, today the San Diego Chargers running will perform in the cold and possibly snow of one of the most difficult December venues in the league.

Nothing gets fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium more fired up when a flurry blows in off Lake Erie and a warm-weather team has to find a way to cope.

A sobering thought for Bills backers waiting at the Peace Bridge as they snail their way to the Ralph for the Canada Day clash against the Chargers:

Buffalo has 12 rushing touchdowns since the start of 2005 while Tomlinson has that many in his past four games.

"For a period of time I said, 'He was one of the best,'" Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said of his superstar. "Then it reached the point where, looking at what he did and the body of work, I honestly believe he's the best running back I've ever seen."

Pretty high praise from the veteran coach whose team has been on a tear, scoring 175 points in their five-game win streak. It is no surprise that Tomlinson, is leading that Charge. With 24 rushing touchdowns on the season, LT is just five shy of the NFL single-season record set by Shaun Alexander last season.

Winter at the Ralph has been known to take a notch out of many a big-time running back, however, and there's a chance of snow and at least some cold weather today.

On the other hand, even in their own two-game win streak, the Bills have surrendered an alarming 395 yards.

WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?

Of the quarterback quartet that went in the first round of the 2004 draft, Eli Manning took the bulk of the hype when he snubbed the Chargers and eventually was dealt to the Giants.

Big Ben Roethlisberger soon took the headlines when he had a remarkable rookie season then led the Steelers to a Super Bowl win in his sophomore campaign as a pro.

That left today's two combatants -- the Bills' J.P. Losman (22nd overall) and the Chargers' Philip Rivers

(No. 4) -- to pick up the scraps.

With both Roethlisberger and Manning lapsing into turnover machines, the grades are starting to change dramatically.

Losman, while far from out of the woods, has led the Bills to fourth-quarter comebacks the past two weeks while the Chargers offence hasn't skipped a beat since Drew Brees handed the keys to Rivers.

The best part for the Chargers is how bad it all looks on the Manning family who refused to let Eli go to San Diego.

"It has been unbelievable," Chargers general manager A.J. Smith told a Rochester paper this week. "I just say 'good luck to the Manning family, good luck to the agent, good luck to the New York Giants. And good-bye."

BRONCO BUSTING

So what if he looks like he's 12 years old, newly named Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler can gun the football.

"His balls are coming at a pace that I haven't been used to in a while," said Denver receiver Javon Walker, who used to catch Brett Favre bullets while in Green Bay. "It gets there in a hurry and it gives you an opportunity to make plays."

Cutler's promotion has been inevitable since the 23-year-old was drafted 11th overall by the Broncos and then showed some serious promise in the pre-season.

It was sealed when beleaguered Broncos veteran Jake Plummer struggled, throwing 12 interceptions to just 11 touchdowns.

As for Cutler's transition to starter, Titans quarterback Vince Young, who is getting up to speed now that he has had nine starts, has some advice.

"Tell him to keep his head on a swivel because there's going to be some stuff he didn't see in pre-season games," the former Texas star said. "When the game really means something, man it's different."


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