Chargers running back Ryan Mathews had the best season of his four-year career in 2013. Most importantly, he finally played in 16 games. But he is not satisfied because how of last season ended. While Mathews made it through the regular season, a sprained ankle limited him to just 18 carries for 78 yards in two postseason contests.
"It was hard, not being able to finish the year out," Mathews said. "Sixteen games is 16 games. I played a full season, but I didn't really get to contribute in the games after the season -- the real games when it really counts.
"That's my expectation this season. I've got to do more and do better, so I can be there with my guys to be able to help them out as much as I can when we get there again."
Mathews rushed for 1,255 yards on 285 carries last season.
Danny Woodhead figures to be a major part of this offense again, and Donald Brown will see a handful of carries every week, but Mathews remains San Diego's lead back. Because of Woodhead, Mathews won't catch as many passes as he did earlier in his career, but he consistently ran hard last year, something he didn't do enough previously. He is a stellar RB2 in standard leagues if he stays healthy. I'm not yet willing to say Mathews is a durable player after three injury-shortened seasons, but last year certainly made it a little easier to draft him.