Mathews played in 12 games during his rookie season, had 158 attempts, 678 yards and seven touchdowns on 4.3 yards per attempt. In 14 games during the 2011 season, Mathews had 222 attempts, 1,091 yards and six TDs with an average of 4.9 yards per attempt. Mathews ranked 10th in the NFL with 1,091 rushing yards and no one in the top 10 equaled his 4.9 yards per attempt.
Mathews had a disappointing 2012 season which started with a broken right clavicle against the Green Bay Packers that caused him to miss two regular season games. Mathews broke his left clavicle against the Carolina Panthers and missed the last two games. Mathews finished his 2012 season with 184 attempts, 707 yards and career lows in yards per attempt at 3.8 and touchdowns with one.
According to Michael Gehlken of utsandiego.com, Mathews said “It’s time for me to show them why they bumped up all the spots they did to draft me.”
Mathews would go on to say “I’ve shown greatness at times, and I’ve shown I can be the worst player at times. You’ve got to be consistent, and that’s what I plan to do.”
San Diego’s top priority in the draft will be to improve on an offensive line that allowed 49 sacks which ranked fourth in the NFL. The rushing offense was even worse because they averaged 3.6 yards per attempt which ranked 31st and their four rushing touchdowns ranked last.
A major reason why San Diego will look to improve their offensive line before the run game is because Mathews has shown that he can be great at times. However, Mathews has a history of injuries which goes back to his sophomore year in college when he missed five games with a knee injury. Mathews missed four games in 2010, two games in 2011 and four games in 2012.
Mathews has two years left on his contract heading into the 2013 season. San Diego’s front office has to think about parting ways with Mathews if he suffers another injury which causes him to miss games.