Oct 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Branden Oliver (43) runs the ball during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The run game is going to be put on the shoulders of Branden Oliver on Sunday. Ryan Mathews has not practiced all week with the ankle injury and his status looks doubtful at the moment. Unless we can get some duct tape to keep him together, we will need to find a way to attack without him on the field.
The last time the San Diego Chargers faced off against the Denver Broncos, Oliver was the lead back and we were not able to do much. The Broncos had Brandon Marshall spy him throughout the game and Marshall was able to stop him in his tracks any time that he touched the ball. They were ready for the attack and the Chargers were not able to adjust to the defense.
It will be difficult to trust the run game on Sunday without Ryan in the game, but the team will have to rely on their young guy to move the chains and the team has to rely on the o-line to make a push up front. In the 2nd half of the game against the Patriots last weekend, the Chargers barely thought about running the ball. They will have to increase the effort in the run game this time around. They can’t stray away too far, they will be able to break off a big run if they keep pounding.
Oliver has shown the ability to be a playmaker in the past. He has that ability to make people miss in the open field and he does a decent job of getting to the hole when it is there. He does dance a little and tends to get caught in the backfield. The team cannot afford the negative plays this weekend, so the line will need to create some room for him to get through.