There have been two lingering problems dogging Chargers running back Ryan Mathews since he was the Chargers’ first-round pick in the 2010 draft.
Injuries are one of them and that cost Mathews the first two games of this season. The other is fumbling, something that marred Mathews’ return to action in Week Three against the Falcons. Mathews coughed the ball up inside the Falcons 5-yard line in the second quarter and Atlanta recovered. They scored on the ensuing drive, taking their lead from 6-0 to 13-0 and leaving the Chargers behind from there.
On Monday, Chargers coach Norv Turner was asked about Mathews’ fumbling and, via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Turner said that the team would “look hard” at when and where Mathews fumbles in hopes of limiting Mathews’ carries in those situations. He didn’t say whether close to the end zone was one of those situations and Mathews’ suggests that the issue isn’t specific to that area of the field.
Three of Mathews’ 11 fumbles have come in the red zone, which means that any situational similarity lies elsewhere. If there is a smoking gun, the Chargers would do well to find it because losing the turnover battle isn’t going to get the Chargers back on the winning side of the scoreboard very often.