Mathews Back, Ready To Rumble For Bolts


For years and years, the San Diego Chargers always had one of the elite running backs in the game. Of course, for over a half dozen years, that elite back was RB LaDainian Tomlinson. Behind LT were backs that went on to do great things elsewhere as well, RB Darren Sproles with the New Orleans Saints and RB Michael Turner with the Atlanta Falcons. Now, the ball belongs to RB Ryan Mathews, and he is set to make his season debut for the Chargers when they take on Turner and the Falcons this week at Qualcomm Stadium.

Mathews had been held out of the first two weeks of the year with a broken clavicle suffered in the preseason.

To say that the ground game has been a disaster for San Diego would be a brutal understatement. The team has tried to run the ball, calling 59 runs as opposed to 66 passes for the year, but it just hasn’t worked. There hasn’t been a run for more than 17 yards on the campaign, and none of RB Jackie Battle, RB Curtis Brinkley, RB Le’Ron McClain, or RB Ronnie Brown has really been able to get much going. Those four have averaged just 2.93 YPC thus far on the season, and Battle has both of the team’s touchdowns.

Last year, Mathews was a part of a great timeshare with RB Michael Tolbert, who is now gone with the Carolina Panthers. Both averaged over four yards per carry, and the two combined to rumble for 1,581 yards and 14 scores. They had 104 catches, 888 yards, and two TDs between them as receivers as well.

That’s the type of explosiveness that the San Diego ground game has been missing and so badly needs to get back. The Chargers are favored by a field goal on the NFL odds in Week 3, and if the cards fall right, they might be the only team left in the conference at the end of the week to be boasting an undefeated record.

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