September 23, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) and head coach Norv Turner (left) prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
We are going to Cincinnati today. The Chargers are already there. Temperatures will be low. It’s the playoffs. Of the games that have been played, one club showed that a dome team can beat an outdoor team in their own cold weather. Another showed that they can come from behind, no matter how big the hole is. This is January Football, my friends.
For the last 3 years, Ryan Mathews has been beaten up badly on the field, and in the media. Any player that sustains two broken collarbones in the same year has to get a pass, right? Unfortunately, the oft-injured running back got little love, after a few years of fumbles, injuries, and unfavorable press. In Norv Turners pass-happy system, Ryan found limited success on the field.
It was said that he couldn’t carry the running game. It was said that he was made of glass, and lacked toughness. It was said that he couldn’t learn “vision”, break off big runs, or withstand a full season. All the evidence pointed to him being a setback to this team’s future. Yet, he is one of the main reasons we are in the playoffs.
When I take a hard look at Ryan Mathews, I see a guy who works extremely hard. His toughness is down-right impressive (Especially after contact). But, that’s not why I am writing this piece. It’s because I have a lot of respect for him. Aside from the pro-football admiration, I love that he speaks from the heart. He may not be Shakespeare, but he will let you know that Norv brought an element of complacency to this organization.
Now we are in the playoffs. The hiring of Joe D’Alessandris has made Ryan’s job a lot easier. Whisenhunt & McCoy have finally put their trust in Mathews. Most importantly… Philip trusts Mathews to carry it. That is something that Philip hasn’t had for a while, and Ryan can finally do what he was drafted for. He is going to be leaned on heavily in Cincinnati, and he is primed for another 100+ yard game.
Ryan Mathews is set up for the game of his life!
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