After a season of much publicized on-field struggles in addition to dealing with injuries, San Diego Chargers rookie running back Ryan Matthews gave us a glimpse of what he can do in the season finale against the Denver Broncos. Matthews carried the ball 26 times for 120 yards, adding 3 touchdowns to help the Bolts hold off the Broncos 33-28. What also may have been Matthews’ breakout game earns him the final NFL Player of the Week nod of the season.
The most impressive thing about Matthews’ touchdowns was that none of the three were goal line punch-ins. Matthews had touchdown runs of 27, 12 and 31 yards as he plowed through the demoralized Denver defense. Each score also proved to be critical, with Denver staging a late-game comeback. Matthews’ 31-yarder in the 4th quarter proved to be the difference in the game. “I thought it was a great start to this new year,” said Phillip Rivers about Matthews’ performance. “He’s going to be a great runner for us, a great player for us. When you’re a rookie, a lot is being asked of you.”
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Another week of NFL action is in the books, and it’s time to choose the Week 4 Player of the Week. We could look at big passing days from Kyle Orton and Phillip Rivers both leading their teams to much-needed wins on Sunday. LaDainian Tomlinson’s resurgance in New York is worth noting, running for 133 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Bills. Also drinking from the fountain of youth was Bengals receiver Terrell Owens, who caught 10 passes for 222 yards and two scores in a losing effort against the Browns. However, all of these big offensive numbers couldn’t overshadow the effort of San Diego’s Shaun Phillips, who is our first defensive Eastbay Player of the Week.
Where do you start when discussing Phillips’ day? The linebacker absolutely terrorized the Arizona Cardinals offense, recording a career-high four sacks and adding six additional tackles. If that weren’t enough, Phillips intercepted a Derek Anderson pass in the second quarter, returning it for a touchdown and putting the game out of reach for the Cardinals. Shaun Phillips’ Week 4 effort helped improve the Chargers to a 2-2 record, setting them up for a big division game against the Oakland Raiders next week.
Who was your top player from Week 4? Let us know below.
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