LaDainian Tomlinson hits milestone

Updated: November 1, 2010, 10:43 AM ET
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- At least New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson has something positive to take away from what was mostly a forgettable day for Gang Green on Sunday.

With an 8-yard run in the second quarter, Tomlinson reached the 13,000-yard career rushing mark and joined Hall of Famer Walton Payton in an impressive club. He and Payton are the only players in NFL history to gain 13,000 yards rushing and 4,000 yards receiving.

"It's a great honor for me," Tomlinson said after the Jets' deflating 9-0 defeat to the Green Bay Packers at the New Meadowlands. "The late, great Walter Payton, he was my favorite player of all time, the reason I wanted to play the position.

"It's an honor to do what he did," added Tomlinson, who watched Payton play as a young kid growing up in Texas. "To be considered in that class, to do the rushing and receiving, to join him, it's special."

Tomlinson's record-setting run was one of the few Jets plays on Sunday that could be described as special. The Jets turned the ball over three times and were shut out at home for the first time since Nov. 19, 2006.

"This is definitely embarrassing, not to put any points on the scoreboard," Tomlinson said. "We just killed ourselves with self-inflicted wounds."

Tomlinson, who came into the Green Bay game averaging 81.6 rushing yards per game, finished with 54 yards on 16 carries against the Packers, who entered the Meadowlands with the 23rd-ranked defense in the league. The Jets ran for just 119 yards on the ground, 50 yards below their per-game average coming into Sunday' game.

"The credit goes to [Green Bay]," said Tomlinson, whose 8-yard run in the second quarter was his longest of the game. "They did their job in getting us off the field, and we couldn't score."

Tomlinson finished the day with 13,034 career rushing yards and 4,099 receiving yards.

Payton gained 16,726 rushing yards and 4,538 receiving yards during his 13-year career with the Chicago Bears.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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