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Mailbag: Is Mathews Playing to Expectations?
Q: I will admit I was a pretty down on Ryan Mathews entering the season, but now he is my favorite Charger. I love watching him run the ball and it gets me excited when he blasts tacklers. What do you think about Ryan Mathews? – Rick Pafabay
A: Entering the season, I was really excited to see how Ryan Mathews would perform in this Mike McCoy-Ken Whisenhunt offense. As we head down the home stretch of the season, it’s fair to say that he has performed exactly how the powers that be expected him to. He has run the ball 207 times for 885 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per carry while entering the end zone four times. It’s also worth noting that his 885 yards rank 10th in the NFL. He has also been effective in the passing game, catching 20 balls for 157 yards and one touchdown. Mathews is coming off a game in which he carried the ball a career-high 29 times for 103 yards. It was his fourth time topping the 100-yard barrier this season, which is second most in the NFL and one off the lead. When it comes to physicality, I don’t think there is any more bruising or punishing a runner than Ryan. Also, I think it’s worth noting what a great job Running Backs Coach Ollie Wilson has done not only with Mathews, but all the running backs as a whole
Q: What does the team think of Thursday Night Football games? I like having an extra day of NFL games to watch. – Robert Stone
A: Jarret Johnson said it best in that the team embraces all opportunities when it comes to playing the game they love. There are certainly challenges to playing a game on short rest, but Head Coach Mike McCoy says Chargers will be up to the task and are looking forward to this Thursday’s big game:
“Everyone is playing on Thursday night at some point in time during the year. Depending on where it falls in your schedule and how healthy your team is or how many games you might have won or lost in a row, certain things, there is going to be a difference of opinion on every place week in and week out. It's one of 16. We can't make any excuses. It's on our schedule; we are going to do it. It's a short week for us, but we'll put a plan together, the players will have two good days of practice and we'll get going Thursday night."
Q: I think it’s kinda weird to end the year with three games against our division. Do you? – Jason Griffin
A: I actually love it. McCoy uses the term “professional hatred” when it comes to the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. What better way to end the season with emotional games against three of our biggest rivals? To a man, the Chargers spoke about how vital the home crowd was in the win over the New York Giants. That figures to play even a bigger role in the final two games of the season against the Raiders and Chiefs. Buy tickets if you haven’t already because our team needs your support!