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Melvin Gordon Has Running Game Off to Best Start in a Decade

The San Diego Chargers have run for over 150 yards in back to back games for the first time since 2007.

They've also surpassed that plateau in the first two games of the season for the first time since 2006.

While there are many reasons for the Bolts' success on the ground, no one has played a bigger role than Melvin Gordon.  The running back surpassed 100 yards in a game for the first time in his career in the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars while scoring his third touchdown of the year.  Gordon ran the ball a career-high 24 times as well.

"It feels good (because) it's hard to get to 100," he said.  "It's definitely not easy in the league.  It's definitely something I'm happy about, for sure…. Honestly (I'm) just more confident.  And the guys around me actually give me the confidence and make me believe in myself even more because they want the success just as much as I do."

The 100-yard plateau is a special number when it comes to a running back.  While at times it can be arbitrary and misleading, that was far from the case against Jacksonville.  Gordon once again ran hard and decisive, churning out 4.3 yards per carry with very few negative runs.  He set the tone from the beginning with a 21-yard gain followed shortly by a three-yard touchdown. Having a steady rushing attack that gained over 150 yards on the ground softened the coverage for Philip Rivers, who tied a career-high with four touchdown passes. 

While the plan was for Gordon to split the load with Danny Woodhead, number 39's knee injury in the first quarter put the onus on number 28.  Gordon responded with the best game of his career.

"(He's) come alive," Rivers said.  "It's kind like, 'Uh oh, here he comes.'  He's starting to see it.  He's running confident, and that's the way he ran today.  He made a couple cuts where he started to bounce it, and then he saw it bouncing over the top and he said, 'Alright, I'm going to take my three (yards).'  There were a handful of very smart runs.  They weren't pretty or the ones anyone is talking about, but they were smart runs.  And then he made some of the big ones as well.  I thought it was a heck of a day by him."

"This is the Melvin Gordon that we all know he is," added Head Coach Mike McCoy. "He's running physical.  He's pounding the football and he's making positive yards."

Gordon is far from the only player who has confidence in his abilities.  In fact, D.J. Fluker said the way he is running back the ball gives the offensive line a boost knowing that if they do their job, the running back will make the defense pay.  Gordon became the first Charger to rush for 100 yards since Ryan Matthews in 2014.  Having a running back reach that mark is a badge of honor for the offensive line.

"That means a lot to us because it shows we are doing our job," Fluker said.  "And the way Melvin is running, he makes us want to do our jobs even better.  We can see how confident he is.  He is productive, and learning to set up our blocks.  We are seeing the Melvin Gordon that tore it up at Wisconsin.  He is getting over 4.0 yards per carry, and we believe in him.  The coaches are putting a good game plan together.  This is fun for us."

Gordon in turn has been effusive in his praise for the blockers, giving them the lion's share of the credit.

"Those guys have been working hard.  I think everyone is playing a part with the running game.  Receivers are coming down, filling in, hitting safeties.  The offensive linemen are giving me creases.  Tight ends are blocking.  Fullbacks are blocking.  So, I think everyone wants to be better in that particular area because they know it can help them as well.  So, hat's off to all those guys cause (they) are really helping me out."

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