Dec 22, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) carries the ball in the second half against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 26-13.Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Review: San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews


RB Ryan Mathews

1255 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns, 189 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Ryan Mathews had a breakout season…again. He already had gone to the Pro Bowl once in his career, but that didn’t stop many people from doubting what he could do on the field or doubting if he could stay on the field. With the Chargers in 2013, Ryan Mathews took full control of the running back job. He was able to fight through little injuries and played in all 16 games. He didn’t have much trouble handling the football and he helped carry the offense on his back in some games.

Mathews adds some toughness on the roster. It seemed that he was able to play his type of football this season instead of trying to fill the shoes of Ladainian Tomlinson. He was running downhill and was running with toughness. He was a bruiser. He got stronger as the game went on. He helps add some balance on offense.

In games that Ryan Mathews was unable to play, the offense struggled to move the football. The offense was one sided and defenses were able to key in on the short passing game. Ryan Mathews has turned  into a key player for the Chargers offense.

Without Ryan Mathews in the playoff game against the Denver Broncos, the Chargers offense struggled to move the football. The game would have had a different outlook if he was able to step onto the field, but we were unable to have him in that spot. It was painful.

In 2014, Mathews will be expected to carry the load all over again. Hopefully we are able to get someone to back him up. He was used a lot down the stretch and finally broke down. He is the best back we have taking the ball between the tackles and attacking the edges. He still doesn’t provide much help in the passing game. He doesn’t make himself a good option in those situations and the ball sometimes clanks off of his hands.

What are your expectations on Mathews for 2014?

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  • Carlosinator

    I have always believed in Ryan Mathews, he has had some tough breaks but I only expect him to get better, he continuously shows signs of billions I believe he will have an awesome 2014 season

  • Carlosinator

    of course I meant to say brilliance!

  • Carlosinator

    I also feel that if we had Ryan Mathews when we played the divisional game against Denver we would have won and then gone on to defeat the Patriots!

  • Chris Thesarkattack Cutty

    Get Toby Gerhart!

    • CALiFORNiAkiD

      The draft has good Rb’s.

  • 619chargers4life

    I still feel the same about him and don’t expect much. When we give him the heavy load he last a few games , then when we need him most he is on the sideline . Insanity – doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I was hoping he could prove his worth this season . But to me he still the same Mathews , injury prone with no break away speed . And this year he made it even worst when he reminded me of another RB we use to have that always seem to be hurt when we got to the playoffs . Dare I say the name , it starts with a L. Mathews cleaned up the lost fumbles but we can still say he was apart of one of the fumbles that lost a game. I expect Mathews to get injured early this year due to the fact they will try continue where they left of with him by feeding him the rock . And with that heavy work load just like the end of last season he will get banged up . We need another back in my opinion point blank , cuz Mathews ain’t gonna last .

    • Julien Bélair

      I could not have said it better! We need hyde or mason

      • 619chargers4life

        Lol word!!!!!


    I think the coaching staff has Mathews on the right track.
    He has the right people around him to succeed.

  • Nick Mansoor

    Ryan Mathews is a workhorse. Really great player, good speed, great streangth. But we need another back to share his workload so he doesnt break near the end of the season like what we saw during our playoff game against the Broncos. Draft De’Anthony Thomas. The kid is a stud, and if he excells he could propell his way to the starting line up.

  • tubbs45

    Loved what Mathews and this new O-Line were able to get done this year. He ran with purpose and decisiveness that I hadn’t seen in years past. In this last year of RM’s contract we need to plan ahead and draft a back that can pound the rock and tow the line if Mathews get dinged up. Another year like this one and he’ll get big bucks. Maybe the crew can rally for a short new contract before the season is underway…

    Side note on ex Charger:
    “They need to just let it go,” Cromartie said in regards to smoking pot, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “We’re just going to do it anyway.” Chromo just doesn’t think about his future when he speaks… maybe he was high.

  • Gunnar Martin

    Ryno is a stud. Hard worker, unselfish, team player. And most importantly, he gets the job done when we rely on him to carry the team. I’m not going to have any expectations for 24 as long as he keeps up that mindset and attitude towards the game. Maybe some of you don’t agree, but AJ got this one right.

    • Julien Bélair

      He is still the same injury prone. We all knew the guy was good and he could be special but he can’ handle a full workload. They should draft Seastrunk to share carries with Mathews and let Mathews walk after this year

      • Gunnar Martin

        I disagree with the “injury prone” label. Considering his workload this season, he impressed the heck out of me. Even if a running back isn’t considered injury prone it is still impressive for him to play out an entire season with few to no injuries. The sport, let alone that position, is brutal. Just because he sprained his ankle (and went on to play through it, I might add) doesn’t mean he’s injury prone.

        Look down at Pete’s comment. He said it perfectly.

        • Julien Bélair

          He didn’t practice after week12 or something like that and then he was injured he the playoff. And we all know last year he was injured and the year before that. That is injury prone.

          He did have a good season in 2013 but he is not reliable. You want to trust him to carry the load next season? then you will hate yourself when he will be injured and we will not have drafted seastrunk for when that happen.

          Look I like the kid but lets face it he is a rotational player not a workhorse

          • Jaime Manzo

            I hear where your coming from Julien, but please tell me, what he could have done to avoid breaking both of his collarbones last year or the high ankle sprain he suffered this year? I understand that there is a list of injuries in his career as a Charger but the kid runs hard and he is not afraid of contact, look at Eddie Lacy this year he didn’t get hurt because he’s “injury prone” but because he is also a hard runner and hes going to continue to get banged up through his career. Ryan missed most of the game with denver, but we didn’t lose because of him, the Chargers could have let Philip air it out and they didn’t. Let me remind you that LT as much as I love him, let us down in the playoffs his last three seasons didn’t even try to play, while philip played with a torn ACL and lil darren sproles won the game for us twice ! Not LT. So can we say LT was “injury prone” no of course we cant, because he played in full seasons, right?

          • Julien Bélair

            well we let LT go after that didn’t we…? I know know Mathews couldn’t do anything to prevent those injuries and that’s the point there is nothing to do he WILL get hurt again.

  • Peter Thompson

    I find it nauseating that people think it’s so easy for a workhorse back to stay healthy for 18 straight games. Let me get this straight… a running back is asked to regularly plow through a 300+ pound group of nasty, angry, turnt up giants with pads on… all of whom are looking to absolutely destroy him… and is consistently the guy at the bottom of the pile, where opposing players take dirty shots at him, roll over hisr knees, roll over his ankles, and shove his head into the turf…. and not get hurt? With all due respect, it’s amazing that Mathews only got a high ankle sprain this season.. and not a torn ACL like Peterson. It’s arguably the most physical position in football, and running backs have a lower shelf-life than any other position BECAUSE it is so hard on the body. Two collarbones was rough… but he bounced back, improved his vision, broke off longer runs, carried the team all year, and played through his injuries until he just couldn’t go anymore… and people STILL aren’t happy!!! I’m glad Mike McCoy & RM24 don’t give a fuck about what other people think. He deserves all the credit in the world for his performance this season. Some people will never be satisfied.
    He will get even better this season, watch. I’m down for getting someone to share the load, but he is still going to be the better back… by far.

    • Gunnar Martin

      THANK YOU PETER THOMPSON. Nobody could have ever said it better. You go Ryno!

      • Peter Thompson

        Sorry about the eff bomb = /

        • Gunnar Martin

          Haha I forgive you. Your point has been proven :)

    • Julien Bélair

      I never questioned his ability when he is healthy. He is a special talent. But he can’t be trusted to carry the load by himself. If you want to know why just go on gamepass and watch the bengals and broncos game.

      He is really good but he needs someone to share the load (seastrunk).

    • Tyreece Kaete Sr.

      So fucking true

    • arnie

      Well said Peter. For the record, 2013 marks the “ONLY” season Ryan mathews played in all 16 games. Let me re-pete that, the fumbling, unreliable, injury prone RB played all 16 games under Mike McCoy an the new staff. I think the opinions against RM24 have nothing to do with the facts, but rather the fear of being let down again. We’ve been burned so many times, as Charger fans, i can understand the hesitation, or out right refusal, to believe things are going to be different.
      I say, norv an aj are gone. Screw it! GO CHARGERS!

      • Peter Thompson

        Word.. I’m all in!!! Bolt Up!

  • arnie

    It’s funny how people feel about the past. See RM24 was injury prone, and un-reliable “under his OLD COACH”. They fired his old coach, fired the training staff. What a surprise! RM24 is different RB. I for one, am on record about RM24 reliability and health had A LOT to do with who was running the show, before T&M showed up. I did what they did, cleared the slate, and let him prove me wrong or right about his abilities.
    All i’m saying is this. “Context” Any labels that were placed on RM24, prior to the T&M era, were earned. As for the “HERE AND NOW”? Any labels of reliability an injuries prone are just opinons. See the facts are in, and they disagree, strongly, with those labels. The reality is there was no other RB on the roster that could take some of the pounding from RM24 that he took. As result he got banged up, like any other “normal” RB would. The truth is, this is the same RM24 that we knew existed, from Fresno State. It just took the right coaching an management to bring it out, and believe in him.

    Maybe it’s time we “ALL” start believing him too.

  • 1961 Fan

    He makes good in the fourth year when he should have been that good from day one; I am not sold on this guy and never will be.