Chargers RB Ryan Mathews The Chargers running back has a habit of psyching himself out, but it normally manifests itself as pregame anxiety that lifts before kickoff. Not so on Monday night. It struck for the game and sullied the rookie's regular-season debut.
"I'm trying a little too hard to be perfect," Mathews said. "I didn't respond well when something went wrong."
A hard-fought 15 yard run that featured two broken tackles and a dramatic spin move went for naught when Mathews' pocket got picked. Linebacker Derrick Johnson stripped more than the ball on a takeaway that turned into a Chiefs touchdown. He took Mathews' confidence along with it.
"After that play, everything went downhill," Mathews said. "I wasn't even making reads. I was just taking the ball and running as hard as I could. The problem was that I wasn't running smart. I ignored my instincts and went away from everything I've been doing over the past few months."