September 23, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) in the tunnel during players introductions prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
The 2012 season has not been what I would have hoped for in regards to the performance of Ryan Mathews. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’d be willing to bet that there is a large number of others that had higher expectations for him as well.
Last year Mathews finished seventh in the league in yards from scrimmage while also posting the tenth highest rushing yards.
After missing the first two games of the year, Mathews made his debut against the Atlanta Falcons. He finished that game with 10 carries for 44 yards and a long of 7 yards. The stat that sticks out the most would obviously be the fumble that he had done in the red zone.
Mathews has shown that he is injury prone and has issues with holding onto the rock. One would hope that with proper coaching the fumbling issue would slowly start to subside. Having come into the 2012 season in tremendous shape, it was extremely disheartening to see him go down with the broken collarbone.
Ryan, at times, has shown exceptional explosiveness and an ability to hit the hole and go. Although he has some work to do in pass blocking, he has exhibited a great deal of ability in catching the ball out of the backfield when needed.
This is Ryan’s third year with the Chargers and he has yet to post that game that showcases his ability for the entire sixty minutes of a game. He has had some good performances against the Broncos and also managed to string together three straight games of 100 yards of rushing or more in 2011. That being said, Mathews has yet to have a run of over 39 yards. He has trouble with making the last guy miss which leads to huge plays becoming good plays.
I’ve been on the Mathews’ bandwagon since before he was drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft by the Bolts. I am nowhere near jumping off but I would really like to see him put up that signature game where he completely takes over and shows his true capabilities.
I’m not sure if the Tampa Bay game is the right setting for such a game, but we are all aware of the fact that a good portion of the fanbase is growing tired of his aforementioned issues. The Buccaneers are currently ranked number 1 in the league against the run defensively. They are only giving up an average of 77.2 yards a game in 2012.
In my opinion, if Mathews were to schedule a coming out party, this would be a great opportunity to do so against the number 1 run defense in the NFL. If you want to be the best you have to out perform the best.
We’ll know this Sunday if he is even headed in the right direction.
Thanks a lot for reading.