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Ryan Mathews eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the second straight game and the fifth game this season. Mathews’ 127 rushing yards matches his season high he achieved against Miami in Week 11 and gave him 1,012 on the year, the second time in his career to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in a season.
Mathews ran hard and held onto the ball. His rushing was a big part of San Diego being able to dominate the time of possession battle and give Peyton Manning so few opportunities. There were times when it looked like there was no hole, yet Mathews was still able to slip through a crease and gain yards.
His 23-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was brilliant, and even when he ran the wrong play in the fourth quarter, he still gained 13 yards. He finished the game averaging 4.4 yards per attempt.
Danny Woodhead had nine rushing attempts for 29 yards and Ronnie Brown carried the ball three times for 12 yards.
The running backs totaled 168 rushing yards on 41 carries (4.1 average).
Woodhead and Mathews each caught one pass, but the real contribution in the passing game was protection. Woodhead delivered a fantastic block on a blitzing defensive back to give Rivers time to complete a pass.
It would be nice to see more production through the air (Woodhead gained 13 yards on his catch while Mathews netted one yard), but the game plan was to control the clock with the ground game.