Yesterday was a special day with the USAA, MCAS Miramar, the Marines on the base and the San Diego Chargers as they held a team walk through, and Play 60 event for the military kids in attendance, for all of those which were present. There were plenty of highlights and one that stuck out to me was meeting Ryan Mathews on the field.
After seeing Ryan finish up a couple of autographs, I decided to go meet the man who fueled the Charger running attack last season. I walked up to Mathews, I introduced myself as Booga Peters of BoltBlitz.com and BoltBlitzLIVE on Mountain Country 107.9. I then thanked him for donating his Batman autographed cleats to our last BoltBlitz Meetup. It was then time to extend my hand and get a handshake from the man himself.
My hand is still sore. I am not kidding, it really is sore. Wow, what a grip.
I have talked on air, and posted on social media, that I believe that Ryan Mathews is set for a career year. Now it’s time to write about it.
After watching him during the 2013 campaign, he proved to be one of the most physical runners in the NFL. He bulldozed for 1,255 yards and finished 7th in the league in rushing. He also showed that long runs can now a part of his repertoire after having a career-long run of 51 yards. He twice topped his previous career-high runs during last season.
So why is it that I have the gumption to state that Ryan will have the best year of his career, you ask?
The answer will take a bit for me to explain. But, that being said, by the time I’m done with this article, some of you haters may get back on the “Ryan Mathews’ bandwagon.”
I hope you didn’t end up on crutches as you prematurely jumped off said bandwagon due to things you thought you saw while sitting on your couch.
I have been on record stating the fact that Mathews has turned the ball over less than 1% of the time during the last two seasons. Stop with the nonsense about fumbling problems. As I mentioned in my last article supporting Ryan, what are you doing at your job to secure and earn a 99% success rate in all that you do while at work?
Don’t answer that. Unless, that is, you’re willing to admit that you were unaware of the numbers and were speaking out of frustration and/or lack of knowledge about the game of football. I can always handle a misinterpretation of the facts once those involved are prepared to hone up and admit they were wrong.
But, let us move on and talk about why Mathews is set to explode.
When looking at the ball-control offense of last year’s Chargers, grinding out the clock via the ground game, accompanied by a short, quick passing plan, such factors allowed the team to keep opposing offenses off of the field. San Diego led the NFL in time of possession last year.
Additionally, the Bolts had the highest offensive third down conversion percentage of all 32 teams. When you have a running game that is capable of putting the offense in third-and-short situations, it allows the offense to convert at a much higher rate.
Do you think the running of Ryan Mathews had anything to do with that? I do. And you should too.
There seems to be many obvious improvements in Ryan’s game from year-to-year that deserves praise from the fans in San Diego. But, being an active member of the social media circus, it would appear that the lack of appreciation from the fans comes from those of you that might be reactionary, unintelligible and pathetic, at times.
Sure, there are countless supporters of the former Fresno State Bulldog running back. But, when I read a Facebook post from a so-called “social media expert”, stating, “I HATE that guy,” I get sick to my stomach. Talk about nauseating. How incredibly unprofessional and ignorant. So, you hate someone you’ve never met, can’t do 1/100th of what he does when on the field and you decide to run your mouth? You, sir, are no expert.
Mathews is not only a bruiser of a runner, but a solid receiving threat out of the backfield. He’s no wide receiver, but he has very dependable hands and Philip Rivers trusts him as an option in the passing game. His receiving touchdown against the Texans in week one of 2013 showed athleticism, concentration and the ability to make a difficult catch. Chalk up six for the Bolts as Ryan torched the linebacker for six.
Despite the fact that Jeromey Clary is not eligible to return until week seven of the regular season, there is still a solid amount of cohesion among the offensive line. Minus Clary, the group taught by Joe D’Alessandris is returning 4 starters from last year. When looking at NFL rosters, regarding the offensive line, that is quite the feat to have under your belt. This type of continuity will only benefit number 24. He’s looked impressive, aggressive and like a man ready to have opposing defensive coordinators losing sleep during game weeks while gameplanning for Mathews.
He. Is. Set. To. Blow. Up.
Now, this is just the opinion of a blogger/Radio host that played the game of football for 12 years, officiated it for 4 years and coached youth football for 4 years, as well.
I am not, by any means, saying I know better than those of you that are skeptical regarding the opus I’ve written above. But, be sure to take the time to evaluate what you’ve done other than attend games live or from the comfort of your own home. We all have opinions that should have some value based solely on the love that is shared for the San Diego Chargers. But let us all be clear, we are NOT, regardless of aforementioned factors above involving my football experience, a part of the Charger organization. Or any other NFL organization for that matter.
Mathews is one of the major reasons, in addition to Rivers playing very efficiently at a high level, and a new offensive playcalling scheme, the 2013 Bolts managed to sneak into the playoffs and win a very tough game on the road in Cincinnati.
Everyone knows the result in Denver the following week after the victory over the Bengals on the road.
Mathews had already been battling an ankle injury and he forced himself to fight through it while grinding it out in the Denver playoff game. He was unfortunately unable to finish out the game.
This is where I stop stating my case and I give you my stat predictions for Ryan Mathews for the 2014 season.
Stats for Ryan Mathews for the 2014 season:
Yards gained on the ground – 1,341
Touchdowns via the running game – 8
Receptions – 31
Yards receiving – 287
Receiving touchdowns – 2
For those of you that believe these are lofty numbers for Mathews, while he is in a contract year, I suppose we should all wait until the end of the season to question my predictions.
That being said, there is a comment section below for you to agree or disagree with me. I look forward to any and all comments.
Thanks a lot for reading.