Can Philip Rivers Thrive Without Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead?

By Sam Kweon

All throughout Philip Rivers’ career, he has usually had at least a decent running back behind him, helping him out through the game.

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There was the legendary Ladainian Tomlinson, then Mike Tolbert, Darren Sproles, and Ryan Mathews. Analysts, especially Kevin Acce of UT San Diego, are always saying how when Mathews carry the ball over 25 times a gmae the San Diego Chargers almost always win.

This is a new situation for number 17.

For about eight weeks until #RM24 comes back, Rivers will have to carry the offense on his back.

What exactly does a running back mean to a QB? Running the ball, especially in McCoy’s run heavy offense, forces the defense to bring more men in the box which gives the quarterback one on one match-ups on his receivers. This is why those questionable draw plays from the shotgun are always in effect.

One thing to point out is that this is the most reasonable time for the backs to be out.

Chargers Schedule Next Eight Games

  • vs Jacksonville Jaguars
  • vs New York Jets
  • @ Oakland Raiders
  • vs Kansas City Chiefs
  • @ Denver Broncos
  • @ Miami Dolphins
  • BYE
  • vs Oakland Raiders
  • vs St Louis Rams

I added an extra game in there, just because it shows the easy schedule for the next nine weeks. Aside from the Denver Broncos (a game where the Chargers actually have a very good chance of winning), the teams that our Bolts play are below average teams that should result in an easy win.

Yes, expect Donald Brown to still get 25 carries a game, but it still won’t be the same. The defense isn’t going to stack the box like they did against Mathews. The defense’ game plan won’t be on the running back anymore, but soley on Philip Rivers.