The San Diego Chargers finally discovered a cure for their sluggish rushing attack—a healthy Ryan Mathews dishing out steady doses of punishing, between-the-tackles runs.
In just his second game back after missing seven contests with a shoulder injury, Mathews had highlight reel carries of 19, 17 and 11 yards against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
His most impressive play, however, was a 32-yard touchdown jaunt to give the Chargers the lead in the third quarter. On a delayed handoff, Mathews burst through the hole and executed a sharp cut across the field, propelling him into the end zone.
Mathews is one of the game's premier one-cut backs. Anything he lacks in straightaway speed, he makes up for with his ability to cut on a dime and efficiently change direction.
As part of his off-season speed and agility training, Mathews performs the T-Drill, which reinforces proper sprint mechanics and improves his balance and body control. To perform the T-Drill, he drives his knees and shuffles laterally through a series of mini-hurdles. He then plants his foot, changes direction and shuffles the opposite way through the mini-hurdles.
The ability to shuffle laterally and change direction efficiently are the iron and steel that sharpen Mathews' killer cut move, which slashed the Rams, earning him our nomination as STACK's NFL Beast of the Week.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock