(Photo by Bleeding Green Nation)
Ryan Mathews was clearly the better running back than DeMarco Murray in Chip Kelly’s offense last year, and his production cost Murray eight more starts as he alone had six. Most likely, the aftermath of the Sam Bradford trade has done nothing place pessimism over the Philadelphia Eagles’ season and thus made people forget about the running game altogether.
Except, forgetfulness of Mathews is not an excuse.
He is reunited with offensive coordinator Frank Reich, a coach that knew him as a San Diego Charger from 2013 till 2014.
Reich became the Chargers’ coordinator in 2014 after predecessor Ken Whisenhunt left to become the Tennessee Titans’ head coach, and under both coaches, Mathews had his best years. He rushed and received for 1843 yards and scored ten total touchdowns in twenty-two games with them, and with Reich having some input in head coach Doug Pedersen’s offense, scheme similarity could make Mathews prosper.
Sure, his health of great concern as he is a quarterback that has only played sixteen games once. But as a substitute or quality starter, a healthy Mathews will produce.
He may have garnered 685 last season, but with 8.1 fewer carries per game, that total will go up with him as the starter. He has averaged twelve games per season, and if the production with Reich comes back East along with early season-ending injury, you can expect him to garner at least 1000 yards from scrimmage.