San Diego Chargers: Rushing Attack Must Be Effective in 2013

By Kenny Gardner
Ryan Mathews NFL San Diego Chargers
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers finished their 2012 season ranked 27th in the NFL in rushing yards, 31st in yards per rushing attempt and were tied with the Oakland Raiders for last in rushing touchdowns.

San Diego’s rushing attack has been an issue for them for most of the last five seasons.  From 2008-2012, San Diego’s average finish was 24th in yards per rushing attempt with their best finish coming in at 14th in 2011.

The NFL has become a pass happy league as only six of the 32 teams had more rushing attempts than pass attempts in 2012.  Five of those six teams finished in the top 10 in yards per rushing attempt.

San Diego averaged 3.6 yards per rushing attempt in 2012, and their primary rusher Ryan Mathews averaged a career low 3.8 yards per attempt.  San Diego ranked 22nd in receiving yards and 30th in yards per reception, but when a rushing attack is this bad, it allows defenses to focus on stopping the pass attack.

The Lighting Bolts added former New England Patriots running back Danny Woodhead which should help the rushing attack.  Woodhead averaged four yards per attempt last season but averages 4.8 yards per attempt for his career.  San Diego re-signed Ronnie Brown after he averaged 4.8 yards per attempt last season.

Jackie Battle was San Diego’s primary backup RB in 2012, and he averaged 3.3 yards per attempt.  This was not surprising considering the fact that he averaged 3.8 yards per attempt in four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mathews is capable of having a bounce back season because he averaged 4.9 yards per attempt in 2011 when his 1,091 rushing yards ranked 10th in the NFL.

San Diego does not have the greatest receiving corps to make up for a horrific rushing attack, so they need to run the ball better in 2013 for the offense to be more effective.

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