Yesterday’s victory over the St. Louis Rams at Qualcomm certainly had the Charger fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish. The highs and lows of week 12 were near heart attack-inducing. The bottom line is, San Diego walked away with a very important win.
Philip Rivers, minus a pick-six where Keenan Allen slipped on a route in the endzone, had a very efficient game completing 29 of his 35 attempts while throwing for 291 yards and a touchdown. That scoring pass was to Keenan Allen who added 104 yards receiving in addition to securing his second touchdown of the year.
The play of Rivers and Allen was among the things that stood out when watching the game. But there was one player that came in and made his presence felt as he blasted his way through the Ram defense on limited carries.
That player was Ryan Mathews.
If you were to say that Mathews was the deciding factor yesterday, I am not sure that many people would argue with you. After only having 12 carries, Ryan was still able to grind out 105 yards; including a 32-yard touchdown. That scoring carry was the longest touchdown run of his career.
Mathews adds a dimension to the San Diego offense that no other Charger running back can provide. Now, that is not a slight to any of the other ball carriers, it is just an obvious fact regarding what Ryan brings to the table.
When 24 is on the field, there is a certain amount of pressure that is lifted off the shoulders of Rivers. Philip no longer has to throw the offense on his back and sling it all over the field in order to achieve a victory. With Mathews in the game, the balance on offense keeps opposing defenses on their toes as he changes the dynamic of the opposition’s defensive playcalling knowing that he is a threat and can be used in multiple ways.
Ryan Mathews is an integral piece of the San Diego offense. He makes this team better. Period. End. He is one of the most physical running backs in the league and he gives it his all on every single play. He is a solid receiver out of the backfield and his blocking in passing situations while in the backfield has improved year after year.
Simply put, Mathews is a beast and the team is lucky to have a player of his caliber.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Although Mathews left the field late in the game with a shoulder ailment, I am told that he is fine.
Thanks a lot for reading.