San Diego, CA- Great job Chargers fans! Thanks to your votes Chargers undrafted rookie running back Branden Oliver has been named Pepsi Rookie of the Week, after running all over the New York Jets on 19 rushes for 114 yards with one touchdown and four receptions for 68 yards with another touchdown in Sunday’s 31-0 win.
Branden Oliver’s 182 yards from scrimmage today are the most by a Chargers running back since LaDainian Tomlinson had 197 yards from scrimmage against the Tennessee Titans in 2007.
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Oliver in an interview with Ricky Henne of Chargers.com expressed his appreciation for the honor.
“First and foremost, I know it wouldn’t be possible without God, my teammates supporting me and this coaching staff,” he said. “I’m just going out there with confidence and faith in my ability. This feels good to win but I need to keep playing well.” -Branden Oliver
Branden Oliver took over as the starting running back at the end of the 1st half during Sunday’s game when Donald Brown exited the game in the with a concussion and did not return. Oliver and made his presence felt imminently with back to back tough 1st down runs and a 50-yard reception on 3rd-and-17 to give the Chargers the ball in Jets territory.
Branden Oliver would increase the Chargers lead to end the half on a 15-yard touchdown run to extend the Chargers lead to 21-0 at the half.
Branden Oliver would continue to make his presence felt in the second half, as Oliver would run through the Jets defense for an impressive 52-yard run to begin the 3rd quarter.
Rivers would finish off the drive by connecting with Branden Oliver again for a nine-yard touchdown reception to extend the Chargers lead to and 28-0 lead.
When Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead went down with injuries this season, Brown was expected to take over Mathews role and Branden Oliver was expected to take over Woodhead’s role on offense. Yet after today it seems like the Chargers had it backwards. Brown has struggled to get the running game going the past few games and today Branden Oliver ran all over the number one run defense in the NFL for more yards than Brown has had all season.
Branden Oliver certainly after Sunday’s performance will likely take over the role of feature back until Ryan Mathews returns.