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News » Tomlinson concedes forecast looks dim

Tomlinson concedes forecast looks dim

Tomlinson concedes forecast looks dim
LaDainian Tomlinson has seen this play out before. Try as he might, he can't be optimistic.

The Chargers running back and resident realist said yesterday he feels the season slipping away with the maddeningly inconsistent Chargers at 4-6 and running out of time to chase down the suddenly resurgent Denver Broncos (6-4).

"I think so, I really do," Tomlinson said. "Two games back, you're not out of it, but it's like blown opportunities we keep on talking about. Whenever you keep blowing opportunities, at some point opportunities don't come about anymore. When the opportunity comes, you open the door and take it. If you don't, it passes you by and goes to somebody else."

Tomlinson spoke again yesterday of a career closer to its end than its beginning and still without a Super Bowl ring. He won't lie about being scared to come up empty.

But he is not ready to concede 2008.

"I wouldn't go that far to say we're done," he said. "Anything can still happen in six games. But it does look slim. We're not done yet."

Tomlinson is among those Chargers who want to find the positives in the small margins.

"They're close games," he said. "So hopefully close games start to go our way. That's the only thing you can hope for."

What choice do they have?

"You've just got to continue to grind," tight end Antonio Gates said. "Sometimes the frustration sets in when you work and work and then you fall short. There are two ways you can look at it. You can look at it positively -- it's almost where we're trying to go. It's the approach you have to take."

The Chargers were just one game better after 10 games last year. This is the week they embarked on an eight-game win streak that took them to the AFC Championship Game.

But they seemed a lot better at this point in 2007, a lot more cohesive, more on the verge of results.

It's a notion only some of them will privately acknowledge, and even then they can't put their finger on why it is a wider gap between failure and success this season.

"What have we had, six losses by 25 points?" quarterback Philip Rivers asked, knowing the answer. "It's hard to say we're not close ... I do think we're close. It doesn't maybe feel like it, because these same kinds of losses keep happening. But it is. We're in every game."

There is no time like right now to change things, with the Indianapolis Colts coming to Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday night, the first of three home games in 12 days for a team that might not be able to afford more than one loss the rest of the way.

After the Colts, the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders come to San Diego.

"A ton of work to do," Rivers said. "Lot of home games left, three in a row coming up. This will tell the story. What will December mean?"

With the season finale Dec. 28 at home against the Broncos, the Chargers can make up one of the games then. But even if they somehow start to play better, this race is no longer in their control.

"We have six more games left; it is what it is," Gates said. "We have four at home. That is always to our advantage. If we can take care of our home and steal one in Kansas City, we can leave it up to the last game of the season saying, `OK, we're down one game or maybe we're tied and this is for the AFC West and for us to go to the playoffs.' "

Rivers said he thinks the Chargers' biggest challenge is in staying focused, a game at a time.

"Now more than ever it's going to be up here," he said, pointing to his head. "To be able to really focus in and say, as bad as we feel, we have to focus in and win this one game ... But if we can focus in and zero in, who knows? Maybe this can be the talk of the next two months. That's all we can do now."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 21, 2008

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Quentin Jammer Name: Quentin Jammer
Position: CB
Age: 29
Experience: 7 years
College: Texas
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