Chargers Powered by Ryan Matthews’ Late-Season Surge

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Dec 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Matthews (24) runs with the ball during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers are arguably as healthy as they’ve been this year in terms of players on the 53-man roster. Entering Sunday’s Wild Card game, only four players were listed on their first injury report of the week, but one name that was significant was running back Ryan Matthews, who did not practice on Wednesday.

This is the second-straight week he’s sat out the Chargers’ first workout with an ankle injury, but it won’t keep him out of Sunday’s game. Mathews missed the first two days of practice leading up to the season finale against Kansas City Chiefs, only to play and run for 144 yards and catch two passes for 11 yards.

Stopping him on Sunday will be key to the Cincinnati Bengals getting their first playoff win since January 6, 1991. When he rushes for 100 or more yards, the Chargers are 5-1 with the lone defeat being by four points on the road  at Miami.

But the real magic number is 61. When Matthews ran for 61 or fewer yards in 2013, the Chargers were 1-6 with the lone win being a last-minute comeback against the Chiefs.

How many yards did Matthews get against the Bengals in Week 13?