|Ryan Mathews was moved down to the RB2 on the Chargers' depth chart, but what does that mean going forward?|
I wrote a little about the Chargers RBs in my Week 4 Breakouts and Breakdowns earlier this week, but after the depth chart change, I felt it was necessary to elaborate on my thoughts earlier in the week.
Let's get something straight first, Ryan Mathews is by far the most talented RB on the Chargers' roster. There is a reason he was selected as the 12th pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Let's look at their stats:
In 2011, Mathews rushed 222 times for 1091 yards (4.9 yards/carry) and 6 TD, while catching 50 passes for 455 yards. By comparison, from 2008-2011, Jackie Battle has rushed 190 times for 715 yards (3.8 yards/carry) and 4 TDs in 4 NFL seasons.
The difference in talent and ability is stark. There is no denying that. I expect both to have a big role this week against the terrible Saints defense. Based on the talent, I went as far as to rank Mathews 7th at RB but still ranked Battle 24th at RB. I don't think the change in "starter" means that much. Mathews was benched to send a message because of his fumbling issues. He carried the ball 16 times in Week 4 without any fumbles and is earning back the trust of his coaches.
Here is some further evidence that the depth chart switch doesn't mean much. As written on Rotoworld:
- According to the Chargers, Jackie Battle vaulted Ryan Mathews on the team's official depth chart because "he just started last week, so that's why he's there."
Start Mathews this week, you won't be disappointed!