Over 50,000 at Qualcomm Stadium watched Melvin Gordon author one of the greatest performances in Chargers history.
After the game, Gordon hoped he was able to make one in particular especially proud.
With the Chargers honoring their Hall of Famers during their annual alumni game, that meant the greatest running back in franchise history was on hand to catch Gordon's memorable day.
"It's always special when he's here," Gordon said as he left the stadium. "I hope I made him proud."
It's hard to believe LT wasn't impressed.
Gordon ran for a career-high 196 yards, which was the ninth-most in a game in franchise history. It was also the most since Tomlinson had 198 against the Raiders in 2007. Add in his 65 receiving yards and Gordon totaled 261 total yards from scrimmage, which is the third most ever in Chargers history.
"He was just awesome," Philip Rivers said. "I would have paid a ticket to watch him today."
Gordon punished the Titans all day long from his first snap to the last. He carried the ball 32 times for 196 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry with one touchdown. He also caught all four passes thrown his way for 65 yards, including a team-high 35-yard catch-and-run. In addition to that long reception, he had a pair of runs over 40 yards. As the game wore on, Gordon kept getting better and better.
"That's kind of my game," he explained. "Just keep pounding and keep at it. The linemen keep me focused and the guys keep me focused. When I see them making big plays, it makes me want to go out there and make big plays. It's just a mindset, and that is kind of how we're programmed."
The running back's longest run of the day was also his most important. With the Chargers up eight with just over eight minutes remaining, Rivers handed Gordon the ball on 3rd-and-7. After gaining a couple yards, it appeared number 28 would be tripped up well short of the sticks and the team would rely on the defense to close out the game. Instead, Gordon broke numerous tackles and burst 47-yards to seal the win.
"I was just thinking about getting there first and protecting the ball," he said. "I just remembered being in that same situation against the Saints coming up short. I knew I had to get the ball. That was the focus. I was just focusing on holding onto the ball and keeping my feet going."
"What a special run that was on Mel," Head Coach Mike McCoy added. "Look how he finished the game. I don't know how many plays he played in the game, but he was just as strong at the end as he was the first snap. When you run the football the way we did today and you commit to it and you keep on running it, and at certain times we were throwing the ball going up and down the field also, those short gains become a big and explosive play like the one at the end."
Tennessee entered the game intent on limiting Gordon's production. When all was said and done, it's clear they gained a new level of respect for the second-year running back.
"He is definitely the best running back we have faced so far this year," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "He is going to be a great running back in his years to come."