I’m the biggest Ryan Mathews fan around, but when he fumbled the ball on the 2-yard line going in against the Atlanta Falcons, his stock took a free fall in my mind.
To me, a team can run all the fancy, complicated plays they want, but when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter, the team with the advantage is almost always the team with the fewest turnovers.
I understand that Philip Rivers is like a god to some San Diego Chargers fans, but not to me. When a single player is this careless with the football (three interceptions and 2 fumbles in the last two games), he can not be above criticism.
I’ve said it a million times by now. At the expense of making big plays, the Chargers need to protect the football at all costs. I’ll add this caveat, though. If the Chargers continue to turn the ball over anyway, then they might as well go down swinging.
These turnovers are ridiculous. Turnovers have a direct correlation to the discipline instilled by the head coach. Not the owner, not the GM, not the players, not the position coaches; the head coach.
Norv “Turnovers” Turner needs to pull out all the stops to put a halt to all the carelessness with the football.
One player on the roster who has proven that he can keep his hands on the football is Jackie Battle. In 221 touches during his NFL career, Battle has never had the ball pried from his grip. If Ryan Mathews fumbles again, it may be time to bench him and see what Battle can do against a fresh defense.
Battle is averaging 7.3 yards per carry, which seems inflated. Even if his average drops by 3 yards per carry, it’s still better than fumbling the ball at the 2-yard line on either end of the field.
Besides, Battle is a former Kansas City Chiefs (the Chargers’ next opponent) and would probably love to get a crack at the team that let him walk.