It doesn’t sound like we’re going to have another week of speculation about the identity of the Chargers’ starting running back.
Ryan Mathews ran for 80 yards on 12 carries Sunday night and added 59 receiving yards for the kind of performance that left little doubt about which of San Diego back brought the most to the table. He also didn’t fumble, which meant there was no reason for the Chargers to give a bigger share of the workload to Jackie Battle during their failed attempt to knock off the Saints at the Superdome.
Coach Norv Turner essentially admitted the same after the contest. Turner said he expects Mathews to be one of the league’s leading rushers, a level it is difficult to reach if you’re the second man in the running back rotation, and praised Mathews’ resiliency after he got sentenced to extra time on the bench because of fumbles.
“Ryan was outstanding,” Turner said, via the team’s website. “Everything I’ve said about him in the offseason, everytime he’s had adversity, he’s come back stronger. People want to count him out or say, ‘Hey, you can’t count on this guy,’ but he’s come back stronger.”
The Chargers probably didn’t give Mathews quite enough playing time when all was said and done on Sunday night, but that shouldn’t be a problem going forward if Turner is going to maximize the potential of the San Diego offense.