A major problem for San Diego’s rushing attack was the decline of Ryan Mathews who averaged career lows in yards per attempt and rushing touchdowns. While Mathews had one rushing touchdown in 12 games, he was not the only problem. Jackie Battle ranked second on the team in carries and averaged 3.3 yards per attempt.
Another issue was Curtis Brinkley who averaged 2.9 yards per attempt. San Diego averaged 3.6 yards per attempt which took no pressure away from the pass attack.
While Mathews averaged 3.8 yards per attempt in 2012, he averaged 4.9 yards per attempt in 2011 when he ranked 10th in the NFL with 1,091 rushing yards. Mathews also averages 4.4 yards per attempt for his career, so he is capable of having a bounce back season in 2013.
San Diego’s front office signed former New England Patriots RB Danny Woodhead to a two year deal last week. Woodhead averages 4.8 yards per attempt for his career and will be a welcomed addition.
Former Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown averaged 4.8 yards per attempt, but his carries were limited last season. Brown averages 4.3 yards per attempt for his career and he re-signed with the Chargers last week as well, so San Diego should have an explosive rushing attack.
San Diego’s front office needed to address the team’s lack of an explosive rushing attack heading into the offseason. The signings of Woodhead and Brown should give them depth at the RB position.
Health has always been a concern for Mathews going back to college when he missed five games with a knee injury in 2008. Mathews missed four games as a rookie in 2010 and missed four games last season. If Mathews stays healthy in 2013, I expect big things from him and San Diego’s rushing attack as a whole.