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Chargers Season Depends On Success Of Ryan Mathews

Dec 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) motion before the snap next to running back Ryan Mathews (24) during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers season depends on the success of Ryan Mathews. OH HELL!

The success depends on how successful we are able to get that running game going. Check out this tweet from Christopher Hansen yesterday:

So the addition of DJ Fluker on the right side and Jeromey Clary at guard should boost up that running attack.

It actually makes a ton of sense that our record has ranked the same as our rank in rushing yards. The league has turned into a quarterback friendly league, but the running game is still important. We still need to control the time of possession in games and still impose our will on defenses. The offensive line loves the running game. They get to attack and beat on defenders.

Ryan Mathews has the potential to be a Pro Bowl back. He has the skills to be that guy. If we can lean on him a little more and take some of the pressure off of Philip Rivers, then we could be in for a good season.

We lost 5 games last year after having the lead at halftime. If we could have relied on that running game a little more, then we might have been able to pull a couple of those games off. We should have gotten the win against the Broncos and should have gotten the win against the Saints.

We have to be able to run that football!

Topics: San Diego Chargers

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  • Joel

    Reading this article raised my blood presser and anxiety levels… If you said the key to the chargers success rest on the linebackers core, or on Rivers and the offensive line, or the new draft picks and receivers or even Eric Weddle staying healthy, I wouldn’t be stressed by it… but saying the key to the chargers success rest on matthews success is like saying the key to tight rope walking is not falling off…
    I had, and still do have all types of hope for matthews, and will love watching him become a beast if it happens, but I’m afraid to put the season on his shoulders [pun intended.] if this is the chargers game plan then I’ve overestimated the new chargers leadership. insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results… they have to have a plan A which does not include matthews, in my opinion, matthews having a beastly year is plan B and a bonus.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      I get the anxiety, but there is reason why we haven’t made the playoffs since Ryan has come to town. He has to carry his weight. If he doesn’t, someone needs to pick up that slack

      • Joel

        I completely agree with this statement.
        I don’t think the chargers should sink or swim with matthews though, like the title of the article implies,[ there is some truth to it, but I hate it.]
        I don’t want a repeat of the last 3 years when he couldn’t get it up, we can’t pin the season to his frail shoulders.

        the chargers need to have a quality RB waiting in the wings and plan for matthews to not be the “man” I love the signing of woodhead, but don’t know if he is capable of workhorse status with his size… we need a brute and their are a few proven RB on the open market right now for cheap.
        of course the o line is better but I just hope the gm has players ready to plug in the second matthews breaks something and we hardly notice a bump in the ride, not like the transmission going out mid season… thats all.

        • Nick in PB

          So true! I do worry about RM going down and who will carry the rock. I don’t think you want to put that kind of load on Woodhead. Or Ronnie Brown. Hill and Baker need to surprise!

      • Nick in PB

        I thought the same exact thing when reading that article. Ernie pointed it out, and it hit me like lead, “if we could lean on him a little more” (Mathews). I just don’t know if you can lean on RM. That’s a big question mark. If he just does his job and stays healthy, with a little improvement from the O-Line, I think he will get a chance to prove us right or wrong. In hope he proves that we can, indeed lean on him. I have no doubt that this guy can do a lot of things this year, I just hope he actually does!

    • Alter Ego

      I agree with you Joel. I believe that Mathews is an element to our success not the key. The O line plays a more significant role in the Bolts overall offensive performance.
      Mathews, Rivers and our WR corps will all improve with an O line that improves their play.

    • Paul

      My bet is that this is the wrong question. How abt looking at the entire running back group. Believe there are maybe 4 that can fit slots and provide a reasonable running attack. Each component compliments the other. If the OL [the key to a successful year] can allow Rivers the time, he surely can light up the scoreboard. W/ the opponents back on their heels, the RBs should find success. If the D generally can hold the opponents under 20, the Chargers should have a successful, read: playoff season.
      Lotsa ‘ifs’ and ‘shoulds’ in my post BUT that my call and I’m stickin’ to it!

  • Adam

    Lets think about it this way…if we went 7 and 9 with one of the worst run games in the NFL…imagine what we could be if it were simply adequate or even average. The impact that it would have on our season plus the relief it would provide to Philip rivers would be enormous. But imagine if RM has a breakout year….that would probably mean that the OL is doing its job, which in turn would mean the PR has time…basically there is a lot of upside to this season…if a couple of small things fall into place.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      Exactly!

    • Alter Ego

      Nice articulate post Adam. The O line impacts the skill positions to the degree of winning or losing games. We proved it last year.

      • Nick in PB

        Agree, good points Adam. If our run game was trustworthy last year, we might have won a few more games. That is, if the play calling wasn’t so predictable. The running back was going to get the ball on almost every first and second down. You really have to have a solid O-Line to make good gains with that kind of predictability. RM would almost always get popped at the line of scrimmage. It’s tough to make yards that way. If our right side is as good at run blocking as I think they will be, Ryan should have some holes to run through.

        • Adam

          And hopefully he will be able to run it up the gut better now that clary is next to hardwick and green is not next to him on the left. MM is good at orchestrating the play action. A good run game will open that up. Basically it’s a domino effect that starts at the OL.

    • arnie

      2 yards Adam. That’s what your talking about. This is what the Chargers need to add to their rushing per attempt average, to be average.
      Jonah Lee did nice article on it.
      http://touch.boltbeat.com/boltbeat/#!/entry/if-mathews-continues-to-be-mathews,51df29feda27f5d9d0f684df

      • Adam

        Yep. I think that year Mathews went to the PB he has like 4.9 per carry or something close to that. He has the ability

    • Paul

      Nailed it Adam.

  • FitzWilly

    Dear Mr Mathews:

    • Nick in PB

      hahaha… love it!

  • Adam
    • Adam

      Perhaps I will never know how to post a gif :(

      • 619chargers4life

        funny link hahaha dude jumping out the window.

        • Adam

          Thanks dude! It has nothing to do with the article though :0

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        I struggle with the same thing. Someone on here should post a “how to post a gif” comment”. I read an online instruction, and it still didn’t work. I think it would make the site more fun =) After that, someone can come over, and show me how to program the VCR.

    • arnie

      Lol. He just read this article, and was attacked by a raiders fan….

      • Adam

        Sounds accurate lol. Did u see that article on the raiders? There was close to 200 comments last time I checked. Of course about 20 of them were from me lol. Those raider fans are so f*ckin lame

        • arnie

          Yes I did. It just goes to show, you can’t have a reasonably inteligent discussion with fools, idiots and morons. Lol

  • JoseSD

    Is this the same Christopher Hansen from Bleacher Report? I can’t stand that guys articles, he has admitted in the comments section after being ripped on by fans that he’s not a Bolt fan and he was assigned as an AFC West blogger by the website, which helps toward unbiased reporting but it seems like all his info comes from those stat websites like profootballfocus but his articles read like they were written by someone who doesn’t actually watch the team play. That’s why I like this site so much Ernie and other contributors like Pete Thompson, Chargergirl Cindi and many others have more insight into the team in my opinion. We know the stats but we have also been watching the team for years and we know the players all of them not just Rivers and Gates, we have a passion for the bolts and it shows in the articles and in the comments section

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      same dude and he is an admitted Raiders fan

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        It’s in his bio, as a matter of fact..

    • Nick in PB

      Kudos Jose! However, I did like him on the “Catch a Predator” series for Dateline! (-;

  • hendroxy

    In 2011, he made the pro bowl. The team (Turner) openly stated they were going to pull touches from Mathews due to fumbling issues. The play calling for the rest that year in regards to any play where Mathews was on the field was horrible. He somehow managed decent yards even though every time he was on the field the defense knew he was getting the ball. With a coaching staff that commits to using him (given he’s healthy) in multiple situations, he should perform better than ever.

    • Adam

      Yep.

  • 1961 Fan

    Matthews is a bust and the new coaching staff is keeping ALL those other RB’s on hand because they know Matthews is soft and breakable. Danny Woodhead was brought in because of Matthews lack of success. If Mathews makes it past the bye week without getting dinged and on the DL I will be surprised. Mathews is holding the offense back because he is carrying a big (old rookie) contract and the Bolts need to get some utility out of him before cutting loose this wasted draft choice. “A Pro Bowl back” what a joke!

  • C.j. Manriquez

    So I agree with most of you that there will be more elements to this offense than Mathews, and definitely agree Ernie’s point about losing games that we lead, or lead by A LOT in. We need Ryan to play all 16 games… if he can do that he will be productive and not asked to do things that he isn’t good at. If he stays on the field, he will be more than enough to balance the chargers new offense. As for plan B, Danny Woodhead seems like a great match for this team, and Woodhead had more carries than Mathews last season caught more passes, scored more TDS and rushed for more yards with a rushing avg of over 5 yards per carry. In a two-TE system…for what its worth. So having Woodhead seems to be Plan B…. a pretty good plan B. It will be good for both players.

    Finally, the “new regime” and Mike McCoy’s staff are not overestimated. They are smart. They’re going to put him in THE ideal situation every time he touches the ball or give it to “Plan B.” AND AS ALWAYS, NEITHER OF THEM NEED TO BE LT! They need to have a good camp and stay healthy enough to play ball for twenty-one game weeks. Go Bolts.

  • Leonardo Deleon

    Last season the Chargers achilles heel was their inability to manage time once they had the lead. According to Lorenzo Neal this is because under Norv’s system, they don’t practice 2 min drill, no ball control, etc… They just depend on screen pass and ever since Sproles left, they have been missing that element of the offensive attack. It would be interesting to see if Matthews, with more talents on the offensive line this season, could he really pull this off. The success of Matthews really lies on how much time and blocking he gets from these new talent. Which parallel the success that Rivers will get as well. We’ll see.

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