It was a point of emphasis all week long following a dismal display on the ground against the Oakland Raiders that saw San Diego run for just 32 yards.
The Chargers simply must establish the run.
And that they did.
The Bolts responded with their best rushing attack not only of this year, but of the past calendar year. Grinding out 147 yards on the ground behind an efficient, mauling offensive line was the most since Week 2 of the 2012 season.
“You have to be able to run to be successful,” said
Leading the way was
“He ran hard and he’s been running hard all year,”
According to Head Coach Mike McCoy, games like Monday night’s are what Mathews is bred for.
“This is his style of game,” he said. “He wants to pound the football and he’s a physical runner. He was running the ball downhill, putting his foot in the ground, going north and south. That’s what he loves to do. He’s a physical, punishing runner and at the end there he finished the game.”
For the record, five Chargers ran the ball, which is technically six if counting Rivers kneel down at the end of the game.
“You want to reach that peak (100-yards) as often as you can,” Mathews said. “I just have to give all my thanks to the offensive line. They did a great job tonight pushing guys out of the way and opening up the holes. All the credit goes to them.”
McClain is also tasked with opening up holes, and he too gave props to the five linemen.“This was big,” said the bruising fullback. “The thing we’ve been trying to get going all year is guys getting 11-on-11, a hat on a hat…(The offensive line) were lights out. Those guys work hard each and every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk through or a full speed practice; those guys are (going at it). Those guys did a great job.”
Listening to the o-line after the game, the emphasis is to get the yards per carry up as high as possible, and they were pleased to average 4.0 on the day.
“We’re trying to get the rush average up as high as we can,” said
At the end of the day, the offensive line was pleased with the job they did.
“We did a good job running the ball and keeping Philip up,” said