Now I know what you’re saying. It’s easy to have a career year when you haven’t really had a career. But what Ryan Mathews has been able to do consistently throughout the 2013 season and with the problems that once plagued him (fumbling and staying healthy) seemingly gone, does this mean the Chargers keep him beyond 2014, the final year of his contract?
I think the short answer is yes.
I don’t think he’ll get his contract extension in the summer but if he gets off to a good start in 2014, the Chargers might offer him one mid-season and that would be the right thing to do.
Some of you are not convinced and I know this but here are some numbers and facts from Michael Gehlken of the U-T San Diego that probably won’t change your mind.
With Mathews’ 103-yard game on Sunday’s win versus the Giants, that gives the Fresno State alumni his fourth 100-yard game of the season. Only LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings are better in the league with five a piece.
Fumbling? He’s only fumbled twice this season and lost one of them. By comparison, the Chargers’ best free agency signing, Danny Woodhead, has lost two.
As far as his health, Mathews has played in every game this season and hasn’t found himself on the injury report any more than your average NFL running back. Less even.
In a year where quarterback Philip Rivers is also having a career year, it’s easy to ignore Mathews’ but you shouldn’t. In a league where most teams have a one-two punch at running back, Mathews’ has finally proved he deserves to be one of those punches.