Tomlinson is on a mission

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:30 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS - With a deep chip on his shoulder and a youthful spring in his step, LaDainian Tomlinson, 31, continues to stomp on all those detractors who claimed he was washed up.

The future Hall of Famer is on a mission to win the first Super Bowl ring of his career, a journey he kicked off in classy fashion with a pair of touchdowns in the New York Jets 17-16 wild-card victory over the favoured Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The quest now becomes much more difficult as the Jets must now travel to New England for a date with the rival Patriots next Sunday in Foxborough. With Bill Belichick likely scheming ways to stuff L.T. already, life will not be easy for the aging Jets running back against the Pats.

No matter. Nothing, it seems, is going to siphon Tomlinson of his determination these days.

That's because, whether he states it publicly or not, L.T. is playing like a man who is pissed.

At the San Diego Chargers for releasing him.

At the fact that, despite all his success, he has never hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

And at all the naysayers who figured it was time for him to hang up his cleats for good.

One man believed in him.

One man told him he still had what it takes.

A man named Rex Ryan.

"I told you guys he still had something left in his tank," Ryan said.

All Tomlinson ever asked for, was for someone to have his back.

That someone is Ryan.

"This is what I wanted, to get back to the point where I can still have the opportunity to show that I can play," said Tomlinson, who sliced through the Colts run defence for 82 yards.

"I came here because I always thought defence wins championships and the running game was solid."

It is now, thanks to L.T.'s presence.


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