The San Diego Chargers won their first regular season game of the 2012 NFL season on Monday Night despite having 32 rushing yards as a team. Ryan Mathews finished the 2011 season with 1,091 rushing yards which ranked 10th in the league.
Mathews was also ranked 12th in rushing yards per game. Mathews missed Monday’s game against the Oakland Raiders because of a broken clavicle which happened five weeks ago. Mathews could be ready to go for Sunday’s home opener against the Tennessee Titans.
San Diego head coach Norv Turner said that it is a wait and see situation with Mathews who as of yesterday has not been cleared for full contact practice.
Tennessee and the Carolina Panthers were the only teams who ran for fewer yards than San Diego in week one. San Diego wide receiver/punt returner Eddie Royal led the team with 12 rushing yards on two attempts.
I expected a bigger game from Ronnie Brown on Monday. In four games against Oakland before Monday, Brown had 70 rushing attempts, 378 yards and two touchdowns. Brown had five rushing attempts for five yards which is unacceptable.
San Diego also ranked 30th as a team in week one with an average of 1.6 yards per attempt. In 2011, San Diego ranked 12th as a team with an average of 4.3 yards per attempt.
Mathews averaged 4.9 yards per attempt in 2011 which ranked first among players in the top 10 in rushing yards. If Mathews returns to the field on Sunday at 1:25 PDT, San Diego will definitely have a better rushing attack.
In 2011, Tennessee gave up 4.5 yards per rushing attempt which ranked 22nd in the NFL while they surrendered 4.6 yards per attempt four days ago. This should be a good team to go against in order for San Diego to improve on their rushing attack.