2013 Review: San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews

By Ernie Padaon

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

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?