RB Jackie Battle, San Diego Chargers
HT: 6-1, WT: 245, Born: 10-1-1983, College: Houston, Drafted: ---
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|2||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|3||at Tennessee Titans|
|5||at Oakland Raiders|
|7||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|9||at Washington Redskins|
|11||at Miami Dolphins|
|12||at Kansas City Chiefs|
|14||New York Giants|
|15||at Denver Broncos|
|17||Kansas City Chiefs|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 2 - After seeing almost no action in the first half, Battle made the game his own in the second. The newly-acquired running back is the first back this season for San Diego who appears willing and able to knock defenders backwards and run with ANY sort of consistency. Despite doing all of his work in the second half, Battle ended up leading the team in rushing for the game and even remained in on short yardage plays. He went flying over the pile for his first score and then got a fourth down carry late in the game on the goal line and dove under the pile for his second touchdown (it should be noted that he failed to get in on any of the previous three goal line carries before scoring on the fourth one). Battle saw the majority of the critical fourth down carries and delivered some punishing hits to would-be defenders. It was reminiscent of the way Michael Turner and Mike Tolbert would come on late in games and just use their big bodies to pound away at defenders who were powerless to stop it even though they knew what was coming. That’s not to say Battle is at that level or even close to it, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Battle earned himself more of a role in the San Diego backfield (at least in the short term) with this performance. After all, nobody else on the roster has shown anything worth discussing in the running game besides Battle, and he was quite impressive in this game.
Week 3 - One week after a very effective second half, Battle was again relegated to bench duties with Ryan Mathews ready to return. Battle entered the game as the halfback on the team’s second possession, but did not get an offensive touch. And despite only taking three carries in this one, Battle was again the leading rusher in the game for the Chargers. With the outcome of the game long decided, the Chargers removed Mathews from the game late to preserve him and they inserted Battle into the lineup. He got a huge burst up the middle into the open field for a big gain. While he was eventually caught from behind, it wasn’t until he had already picked up 52 yards on the play. It’s quite possible that Battle can play a fourth quarter role with some regularity on this team, much like Michael Turner once did for LaDainian Tomlinson years ago under Norv Turner.
Week 4 - Battle earned the surprise start in the game, with some suggesting the Chargers were sending a message to Ryan Mathews by benching him to start the game after last week’s fumble near the goal line. Battle has looked pretty solid in limited action thus far in 2012, and this game was no exception. There wasn’t a ton of running room on most of his rushing attempts out of the backfield, but he did a very good job in the passing game and in the short yardage running game. He came close to scoring on the opening possession, bursting through the hole after rumbling over defenders, but was taken down at the goal line. On the second possession, he again came up just short of the goal line on a rushing attempt, but this time he was given the carry on the follow-up play and he came through with the score. In the second half, most observers probably expected San Diego to turn back to Mathews especially considering how much trouble the Chargers had moving the football, but instead it was more of the same. Mathews just remained on the sideline while Battle got all of the work. Eventually, Battle got wide open in the corner of the end zone and after going through his progressions, Rivers found him for the easy score. Late in the game, Mathews did come into the game to run out the clock and did some very good work (Mathews actually out-rushed Battle by 22 yards despite one less carry in the game). It is unclear whether the Chargers plan on rotating the backs like they did last year with Mathews and Mike Tolbert, but Battle at least appears to have secured a goal line role with the team for the time being and until Mathews shows he can be trusted 100% to protect the football in the red zone.
Week 5 - Battle featured a lot early on, but for a thumping running back, he doesn't show much aggression or seek out contact. Battle plays the position very passively and never showed any potential to break plays. He is safe with the football, but also ineffective with it.
Week 6 - The waiver wire darling of the past two weeks, Battle suddenly saw his workload drop significantly. His first carry of the game didn’t come until late in the first half, when starter Ryan Mathews had sixteen touches already. Battle had just two rushing attempts in the game, compared to 22 for Mathews. At this point, it appears safe to say that Mathews is the feature back and Battle is relegated to backup duties once again.
Week 8 - Battle only had a handful of touches in the game. His most impactful play was getting stuffed on a fourth and one carry on the opening drive. He later had a decent run, getting bottled up initially but bouncing off the defenders to pick up some extra yardage. Despite another Ryan Mathews fumble, Mathews was still the go-to guy for most of the rushing duties.
Week 9 - Battle did a nice job in limited work. He saw his first action early in the second quarter, lowering his shoulder and picking up the first down on a short yardage carry. Later in the game, he was given a bit more room to work with and got a head of steam going before bowling over the defender for another first down run. However, with Ryan Mathews back and Ronnie Brown the team’s third down back, it doesn’t appear Battle has much of a regular role to speak of anymore.
Week 10 - Battle was the only San Diego rusher who had any kind of success on the ground, but he had just one carry. It didn’t come until the middle of the third quarter, and resulted in a big 21-yard gain on third down up the left side off of some terrific blocking. But curiously, that was Battle’s only offensive touch of the game.
Week 11 - Battle got a handful of carries in the early going as the team took it easy on perpetually banged-up running back Ryan Mathews. But as the game went along and the Chargers fell further and further behind, the need for a player of Battle’s skill set diminished. And the one time they did call on him was on a third and 1 carry which he was stuffed on.
Week 12 - Battle was called upon for a first half rushing attempt on a 3rd and 1 play. He was stuffed at the line and ended up half a yard shy. He got the call again on the next play and barely converted the fourth down rush attempt that time. Early in the fourth quarter, he gave an excellent effort on a rare reception. QB Philip Rivers checked through all of his options before finally dumping one out in the flat to Battle. He turned upfield, making one defender miss and then running through several others on the way to picking up a first down.
Week 14 - Battle had one big opportunity, on a 3rd down rush attempt late in the first half. The Pittsburgh defense blasted through the line and ruined the play before it even really started, and Battle never had a chance to pick up the first down.
Week 15 - Battle was relegated to short yardage duties in this game. It can be safely assumed that if the Chargers had gotten to the goal line at any point, Battle’s name would have likely been called. But they never did get close to a scoring play from that range. With starting halfback Ryan Mathews having injured his collarbone early in the game, the remainder of his season is in jeopardy. With that being the case, Battle’s role should certainly increase over the final two weeks.
Week 16 - With starter Ryan Mathews out for the season with another fractured collarbone, Battle was called upon to make the start. The Chargers got very little push up front and Battle was stuffed on a couple of short yardage opportunities. Things opened up a bit in the second half, and he did a good job of finishing off runs by keeping his legs churning. But his long gain of the game went for just nine yards, and his impact in the passing game was also minimal.
Week 17 - The Chargers certainly tried to establish a running game, running it 31 times to just 17 pass attempts. Battle was the biggest beneficiary of the extra workload, handling 19 of the Chargers’ 27 running back carries. The problem is that there was once again very little room to maneuver. Battle averaged just over two yards per carry with a big gain of eight, and on the one short yardage run he was tasked with, he got stuffed on third down and 1. Where Battle did do a nice job, however, was in the passing game. He tied a career high with four receptions, often taking short passes in the flat and on dumpoffs but quickly turning them upfield for first down yardage.