Ryan Mathews #24 of the San Diego Chargers runs for a gain against the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
How valuable Ryan Mathews has been for the San Diego Chargers this season? In short, he's gone from a piece of the offense to the most dangerous weapon on the field. He's giving the offense a dimension that it's been lacking since the days of Marty Schottenheimer and LaDainian Tomlinson. If we project his numbers from 2011 out for the entire season, they look like this:
240 carries, 1,104 rush yards, 16 rush TDs, 75 catches, 992 receiving yards
2,000 total yards and 12 TDs with zero turnovers and zero injury issues? That sounds shockingly similar to the old LaDainian Tomlinson, if he had been giving some of his goal line carries off to Mike Tolbert for the sake of extending his career.
I'm not saying that would happen, but I am saying that Ryan Mathews has played three straight games where he's consistently shown the potential that Bolt fans only saw for a run or a quarter or a half last season. If he can keep it up over a whole season, San Diego will once again have one of the best RBs in the NFL.
|vs KAN / 9.25.11||Rushing||Receiving|