San Diego Chargers Are Going Nowhere Without A Respectable Run Game

By Kenny Gardner
San Diego Chargers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers played poorly on offense last season. San Diego ranked 20th in points per game, 22nd in receiving yards, 27th in rushing yards, 30th in yards per play and yards per reception and 31st in yards per rushing attempt.

San Diego struggled in the receiving and run game, but at least their 26 touchdown receptions were tied for 11th with the New York Giants. In comparison, San Diego had four rushing touchdowns, which were tied for last with the Oakland Raiders. If San Diego is going to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009, they need a better rushing attack.

The 1981 San Francisco 49ers and the 2011 Giants are two teams that were successful with a horrific rushing attack. San Francisco and New York won Super Bowls, but ranked last in yards per rushing attempt.

However, San Fran ranked eighth in receiving yards, while New York ranked first in yards per reception and fifth in receiving yards. San Diego does not appear to have the receiving threats that these teams had. San Diego has not had a player on the roster that has had at least 900 receiving yards in a season since Antonio Gates in 2009.

Ryan Mathews ranked 12th in the NFL with an average of 78 rushing yards per game in 2011, and his five yards per attempt ranked 12th. Mathews ranked 23rd in yards per game and 32nd in yards per attempt last year, and it will mostly be up to him to take pressure away from the receivers.

San Diego added right tackle D.J. Fluker in round one of this year’s draft, and he has the abilities to pass and run block at a high level. San Diego’s coaching staff moved Jeromey Clary from RT to right guard to improve the line’s run blocking.

San Diego’s average finish in yards per rushing attempt is ranked 24th over the last five seasons. San Diego had a 7-9 record last year and needs an improved rushing attack in 2013, or they will more than likely fail to make the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.


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