Melvin Gordon is fresh off being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Chargers to last week’s victory over the New York Giants.
Don’t be surprised if he wins it again.
The third-year back did it all for the Bolts, leading them to a 17-16 road win over the Oakland Raiders. He did it with what he dubbed a throwback performance to his Wisconsin days, totaling 34 touches on the afternoon. Gordon pounded the ball 25 times on the ground for 83 yards, including a soaring touchdown on fourth-and-goal, while catching a career-high nine passes for 67 yards and another touchdown. It was the sixth receiving TD of his young career.
As a result, the former Badger knows what to expect when he comes in for treatment tomorrow.
“Taking me back to my old Wisconsin days,” he said after the game. “(I) got to get used to it. I think I’ll be a little sore — actually, really sore this time. After this, when it comes around, I’ll be good. My body’s able to adjust…Everybody wants to be the go-to guy. If you’re not thinking like that, I don’t know what you’re doing. Everybody wants to be that guy to make a play.”
“Yeah, he’s going to be sore in the morning,” laughed Philip Rivers “He caught it well. He ran it well. He ran it hard. The guys up front blocked for him. He did a great job, I thought without seeing the tape, (from) the runs where there wasn’t a lot there, just cram it. Just cram it and get three and get four. I think over time if you can sustain first downs and get enough first downs, then you’re going to get more carries. Then you’ll have more where you can crease it and have bigger runs.”
Gordon has proven once again to be one of the more complete backs in the NFL. He wore down the Raiders as the game went on, especially on the game-winning drive. As Rivers explained, the Raiders knew what was coming but they were still helpless to stop it.
“It feels good to finish the game the way we did,” he said. “We pounded it, we ran the same play three, four times in a row at the end. They knew we were running it, and we were able to still get it and set up Nick (Novak) for the game-winner.”
Gordon has also made defenders look silly over the past two games. Last week, it was a vicious stiff arm, posterizing the Giants’ Janoris Jenkins. In Oakland, it was his soaring score late in the first half on fourth down.
While it looked pretty, it was actually a last resort for the running back.
“It just looked like there was a whole bunch of stuff on the ground. I was like, ‘I’ve got to get in here.’ It’s fourth down. And if they come back to us again, I want them to believe I can get it. You get that opportunity, I was like, ‘I’ve got to give them something.’ I actually hate it, to be honest. But if it’s the only way to get in, I’ve got to do it.”
Why does Gordon hate it?
Let’s just say he suffered a hit in the past he won’t ever forget.
“I did it against the Jaguars, and I got hit in the (groin),” he said. “And I felt like my world was about to end. And I was like, ‘I’m never doing that again.’ After something bad like that, you’re just like, ‘I’ll do it if I have to, but not unnecessarily.’”
Yet as Gordon explained, all that matters was doing whatever it took to make a play. It’s that mindset that has made him one of the NFL’s most dynamic – and reliable – weapons through six weeks of the season.