Jan 5, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ronnie Brown (23) carries the ball on a 58-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter in the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Chargers defeated the Bengals 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Could You Trust Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead if Ryan Mathews Has to Sit?

The San Diego Chargers running game will be huge again this weekend against the Denver Broncos. Ryan Mathews status is up in the air. Mike McCoy and the Chargers staff have been hush-hush about the whole situation since Ryan had been sitting on the sideline in the second half in Cincinnati.

Ryan was limping around on the field during that game. I would assume that his ankle had been bothering him a bit in the second half. Hopefully he will be ready to play on Sunday against the Broncos. Ryan has had some of his best games against the Broncos and he will be needed to pound the rock on Sunday.

If Ryan is limited or even worse, than the Chargers would have to rely on Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead as a duel threat. They would be a much better threat catching the ball out of the backfield, but they don”t have that ability to pound that rock up the middle and gain some tough yards. The Chargers would have to rely on Philip Rivers more to make big plays in the red zone. One of the biggest reasons on why the Chargers have been better in the red zone was their commitment to Ryan Mathews in that area. They would have to find a new threat down there.

Hopefully all is well with Ryan, but if he has to sit out, then Ronnie and Danny will have to step up big. Could you trust in Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead to carry the load if Ryan has to sit out?

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  • Derek

    With that 68 yard td Ronnie said yes I can. I think Ronnie at his best can mirror Ryan at his worst will look like Jackie battle. I think our balanced unpredictable offense is key. Allen can get hot, gates can get hot, rivers can get hot and start hitting anyone you throw out there in a chargers jersey like he did a few seasons ago. But with the broncos if you harrass manning the offense will falter. Also rivers has to not be fooled like last game with the fake cover 2, that shut down like 7 of our plays because he checked into a run

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      i don’t have that same confidence in Ronnie Brown. If he looks like Jackie Battle, then Philip Rivers better pull that cape out.

      • Derek

        If that’s the case we still got Danny, he won’t break too many tackles but he can evade his way up the field. Save Ronnie for third and short or goal line both also have better hands than Ryan (based on this season, they don’t seem to trust him to catch or run routes) so that’s more possibilities for the offense. I expect wiz to get creative this game

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          both definitely have better hands than Ryan… I just know that the offense is better with Ryan getting the load and taking the carries in the red zone. He just doesn’t lose yards. He knows how to get positive yards and that would be missed. Just hoping he is able to play so we dont have to deal with the problem

    • w1LLz

      I think Danny and Ronnie can carry the load. Ronnie is old but his legs are fresh as Ryan has been shouldering the load throughout the season. And with gaps you can drive a truck through like that last run Ronnie had, I fully expect the run game to be in full gear against a Denver defense that’s been inferior to Cinci’s all season.

  • Pels04

    We would have no choice but to trust in them. Without Mathews, winning will be VERY difficult. Denver is not scared of Ronnie Brown running the ball. Thank god we have Rivers because he is good enough to beat them, even without a running game

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      If Ryan is out, we would need Danny Woodhead to pull out a Sproles like performance. Like Sproles did to the Colts back in the playoffs.

  • tubbs45

    If Ryan is sidelined, LeRon would need to pickup short yardage. In spread offense Danny is really effective, Ronnie to a lesser degree.

  • Calman21

    People worry too much. Ronnie Brown will do fine….not as good as Mathews but he will give it everything he has got. If Mathews is out, expect more quick passes to the backs to gain short yardage….I doubt they force all the pressure on Rivers. This coaching crew is way too good at planning to be hung out to dry because of one person (unless it is Rivers).

  • Alex Pitrofsky

    NO!!! We NEED Ryan Mathews to beat the Donkeys.

  • RZ

    I would like to see RM in there,otherwise it would be tough.

  • Lee

    random thought but when the ravens were low on rb’s a few years ago leron mcclain stepped up big time. i wonder if he would be able to fill in at rb as well and give us that more power run style. just a thought but i believe RM24 will be okay

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

      I’ve been waiting to see that since he was signed, as that was a big selling point to pick him up. 2 years later, I have seen no evidence that he is still that guy. When given the chance, I haven’t seen him break off anything eye-opening. I would rather see Ronnie Brown, with Le’Ron clearing a path. Le’Ron should be last resort, if Ronnie just can’t get anything done… at which point, they would probably just ask Philip to pull a rabbit out of his hat anyway.

      • Lee

        yea but we’ve never lined him up at the rb spot. maybe giving him a few extra yards to pick up speed would benefit his running style. I would be curious to see if this would work

        • joerockt

          He lined up at tailback a few times in his career here. He sucked. Sorry.

          • Lee

            He gained 900 yards in 08 and 10 TD’s

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

    Well… if we can recreate the Cincy game, it might work. Have Ryan set the pace.. then pull him, and let Brown finish off, as the defense gets tired. The rain probably helped a little bit too. Hard to stop people in wet grass. However, it’s a touchy situation that the coaching staff faces. I am certain that Mathews can play well enough to beat Denver, even if he’s hobbled. But, If he hurts his ankle even more, and we win… I have even BIGGER concerns about playing a team like Carolina, San Francisco, or Seattle without Mathews. The question is a valid one, for sure. Do you think you can beat Denver with Brown, and Woodhead alone? If the coaching staff is pretty sure they can.. then they should sit Mathews, or at least use him in a very limited capacity. If they don’t think Brown & Woody can get the job done, they should use Mathews until he can’t go, and hope for the Saints if we go to the Superbowl.. lol. Maybe the better question is SHOULD they use Mathews? I bet that ankle is getting pretty sore, at this point.

  • joerockt

    At the start of the season, I had zero faith in RM. I thought we would just see more of the same, with him eventually gone for the season. I don’t think I’ve ever had more respect for a player, seeing the progression from beginning of the season till now, than Mathews. The turnaround was truly impressive and I tip my hat to the guy.

    With that said, given the impact he’s had over the last several games, I’d say we would be missing something without him in there on Sunday. I think the play of RM has elevated Rivers play. Teams have to account for him. Ronnie Brown is not a threat and Woodhead isn’t a punishing runner like RM is. Hopefully he’s on the practice field tomorrow.

  • BroncosSBchamps

    Random broncos fan, obvious from the name, eh? Didn’t even realize Mathews was injured as I couldn’t watch the SD/Cincy game this past weekend. That’s a pretty big blow if he can’t play, but i’m sure he will and see how it feels regardless. Injuries are a part of the game though, we all got em’! Best of luck (but really I wish you none) GO BRONCOS!

  • Bill Nichols

    Destiny is on our side folks, I believe we get it done with whoever coach puts out there, no stopping us now baby. Manning you are next to feel the life sucked out of your season by our rejuvenated defense, like they say, defense wins championships, and by god, our D is finally ALIVE!! Bolts Up……