Mathews finished his 2011 season with 222 attempts, 1,091 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. Mathews finished this season with 184 attempts, 704 rushing yards and one touchdown.
There were high expectations for Mathews heading into the 2012 season because he ranked 10th in rushing yards and 12th in yards per game last year while he ranked 23rd and 24th in these categories this season.
Mathews averaged 4.9 yards per attempt in 2011 while he dropped to a career low 3.8 yards per attempt this season. Mathews averaged 9.1 yards per reception last season while he averaged 6.5 yards per reception in 2012.
I expected more from Mathews who had at least 100 rushing yards in a game four times last season. Mathews’ season high in 2012 was 95 yards against the Cleveland Browns.
Mathews is a major reason why San Diego averages 3.7 yards per rushing attempt which ranks 28th in the NFL. San Diego also ranks 30th in the league with four rushing touchdowns.
Mathews missed five games in 2008 with a knee injury as a sophomore in college, missed four games as a rookie in 2010, missed two games in 2011 and will miss four games this season.
This was a painful way to end a disappointing season for Mathews and the Chargers who were eliminated from playoff contention for the third season in a row. Hopefully Mathews will bounce back next season.