The San Diego Chargers need to give Ryan Mathews more carries in 2012. Mathews finished last season with 222 attempts, 1,091 yards and six touchdowns. Mathews was 10th in the NFL in rushing yards while he was 16th in attempts. Mathews missed two games, so he was on pace for 1,247 yards which would have placed him eighth because Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch and Willis McGahee finished ahead of him, missed games and were on pace to finish ahead of Mathews if all of them played the full season.
The Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars were the only teams who had more rush attempts than pass attempts. Their primary running backs finished eighth, fifth, sixth and first in the NFL in rushing yards. Houston started running the ball more when Matt Schaub went down with an injury and missed the last six regular season games. Houston is also the only team among these four that definitely had a better quarterback last season than San Diego’s Philip Rivers.
Mathews was the 12th pick in round one of the 2010 NFL Draft, finished second on San Diego in rushing attempts that season while Mathews led San Diego in rushing attempts in 2011. The team has a great quarterback, so it is understandable that they were ninth in pass attempts per game and 18th in rush attempts per game especially since Mathews was in his second season. The NFL is such a pass happy league that San Diego should use their weapon more in 2012 because Mathews had the highest yards per attempt average among running backs in the top 10 for rushing yards in 2011.