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Chargers may limit Mathews’ carries because of fumbles

San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews fumbles the ball on the 4 yard line when he is  hit by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon during their NFL football game in San Diego Reuters

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.

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24 Responses to “Chargers may limit Mathews’ carries because of fumbles”
  1. yaryers says: Sep 24, 2012 5:59 PM

    This was the turning point of the game. Playing with a 7-6 lead is much different than playing down 13-0, especially when the coaching staff abandons the run game because they have no confidence that Mathews will hold on to the ball.

    Speaking of holding on to the ball, Antonio Gates needs to stop dropping passes, and Rivers needs to just take the sack instead of throwing up prayers when the line collapses (like it did every single snap yesterday).

  2. kevinmanosur says: Sep 24, 2012 6:00 PM

    im sick of this guy, all he does is fumble in the red zone or gets injured. same story every year. if he was playing for tom coughlin he would never see the field

  3. carlsbadboltfan says: Sep 24, 2012 6:02 PM

    It seems like he loses the ball when he’s going to the ground.

    Last season when the Chargers were close to the goal line, they gave it to Tolbert. He’s gone but Jackie Battle is capable of plowing it in.

  4. JSpicoli says: Sep 24, 2012 6:04 PM

    They should put him back on IR. He was better there.

  5. chargrz says: Sep 24, 2012 6:04 PM

    Total “Bust”. He checks himself out of games for sunburn, Mosquito bites and bruised ear lobes.

  6. mrgroovesd says: Sep 24, 2012 6:16 PM

    He needs to do what Tiki and AD did when they had fumbling problems, walk around with a heavy ball practicing holding on to it. With that said, rotate him and Battle in. Battle looks good.

  7. jagerbolt says: Sep 24, 2012 6:18 PM

    He also can’t block as well. Which is the real problem for the bolts. Rivers is going to get pounded into the IR by that awful o-line.

  8. yelix says: Sep 24, 2012 6:41 PM

    Philip Rivers has a tendency to throw stupid interceptions and fumble snaps when the game is on the line. Will they limit his snaps too?

  9. robgilman says: Sep 24, 2012 6:42 PM

    Yeah, the ball gets slipperier in the red zone

  10. doe22us says: Sep 24, 2012 6:42 PM

    Damn where is LT when you need him. LT fumbling in the redzone or anywhere, not a chance.

  11. srcnsd says: Sep 24, 2012 6:53 PM

    It wasn’t a fumble.

    Go back and watch the tape. The ball popped out after his elbow hit the ground.

    I tire of RM’s ball security issues as much as anyone, but he was already down by contact.

  12. vanmorrissey says: Sep 24, 2012 7:09 PM

    …….agree with problems stated above but just to pile on……Norv. What a lack of inspiration. Absolutely none. Now he’s a great X’s and O’s guy as far as offensive scheming goes but head coaching requires someone able to inspire a team to reach above and beyond. Professional, yes, I’ll give him that, but a leader, an inspiring leader, no. This team has looked flat on many occassions in the past when they absolutely had to win under him. Sorry, time to pay him off and see if you can get someone who can inspire a team while you still have a somewhat decent QB.

  13. db105 says: Sep 24, 2012 7:19 PM

    srcnsd says:
    Sep 24, 2012 6:53 PM
    It wasn’t a fumble.

    Go back and watch the tape. The ball popped out after his elbow hit the ground.

    I tire of RM’s ball security issues as much as anyone, but he was already down by contact.
    ———————————————————————————–
    If RM was already down then a challenge should’ve been won.

  14. gochargersgo says: Sep 24, 2012 7:23 PM

    After that game I am concerned for our season. Its one thing to lose to a quality team. Its another thing to lose to a quality team at home by more than 20 without reaching the end zone. Even worse, Rivers horrendous season last year is beginning to look less and less like a fluke.

  15. spellingcops says: Sep 24, 2012 7:33 PM

    yelix says: Sep 24, 2012 6:41 PM

    Philip Rivers has a tendency to throw stupid interceptions and fumble snaps when the game is on the line. Will they limit his snaps too?
    —————————————————-
    Funny how you show up to talk some noise now that that pathetic excuse of a franchise you root for finally avoided getting blown out. Just a reminder: The Jets’ dry spell is only one year longer than the Chiefs’.

  16. joetoronto says: Sep 24, 2012 8:05 PM

    Like lvanmorrissey said, this team has been Norvalized.

    As with all teams, the Chargers have taken on the identity of their HC.

    When you play for a loser mentality, losing is acceptable.

  17. ninebarrows says: Sep 24, 2012 8:41 PM

    The Bandwagon has hardly got going and San Diego fans are jumping off, I am ready for the customary ‘Slow start” and a pick up later. So cool it, if you can do better, why not try out?

  18. yaryers says: Sep 24, 2012 8:45 PM

    @srcnsd

    You might need to watch it again. I streamed the game, so I’m not sure whose broadcast I was watching, but they paused it right as his elbow hit the ground, and the ball was already loose. It starting moving before his elbow hit the ground.

  19. r8rh8r says: Sep 24, 2012 9:04 PM

    JoeCanadian, with some true insight that none of us have ever heard before; imagine that!

    But back to glass-body Ryan, does any of this really surprise any of you Bolt fans? Did you watch anything he did at Fresno State? If he wasn’t hurt, he was fumbling.

    Great snatch there AJ….As usual…

  20. christopher525 says: Sep 24, 2012 9:33 PM

    Again, thank you Chargers for undervaluing Tolbert, allowing us to pick him up. Love seeing teams put all their eggs in the wrong basket.

  21. ambitoos says: Sep 25, 2012 12:47 AM

    He must have a learning disability because he just never learns to cover the ball with both hands in traffic. The Chargers need to stop bringing in lightweights and start bringing in some beef. The lightweights just can’t hold up in the NFL.

  22. theboltdown.com says: Sep 25, 2012 1:32 AM

    The Chargers are going to have to give up some flash and replace it with some substance. Ryan Mathews has big play ability, but those fumbles are a killer. I’d really thought he’d gotten over this stage of her career. Oops!

    Jackie Battle doesn’t have one fumble in his entire career.

  23. realitycheck21 says: Sep 25, 2012 3:09 AM

    I hated the chargers drafting this loser from day 1. They gave up a lot to get him too. I have labled 24 as a bonafide bust. When he plays he fumbles and eventually gets injured. Lucky as F last yr to get 1000 yds. He has no business touching the ball in the red zone. 24 is a cancer and the sooner he is gone the better. Chargers need to start looking now for a replacement rb to draft next year. I have no idea why Norv thinks 24 is that great. Consider the source I suppose. Let him run with special teams as he’s useless as a ball carrier. Keep him away from the ball. He can not be allowed to influence the outcome of a game ever again. 24 you’re a loser and SD don’t want you.

  24. sdmultisport says: Sep 25, 2012 7:26 PM

    Why do people keep saying Norv is a great X & O’s guy. He’s a terrible head coach-and the Chargers wonder why they can’t sell out. Nobody has faith in this team to do anything but go 8-8 and miss the playoffs with Norv in charge.

    As far as X & O’s, I don’t think is a great at this anymore. His offense is outdated. He is going to get Rivers killed. There is no spread offense, rarely are there short 3 step drops. Norv has show little tendency to adapt to the players he has.

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