Melvin Gordon has provided fireworks each and every game during a sensational 2018 campaign, playing a key role in leading the Chargers to their first 7-2 start since 2006.
However, we likely haven't appreciated just how special he's been, as on Sunday, he reached a streak that has only been accomplished by one other player over the past 10 seasons.
Gordon was up to his usual tricks against the Raiders, toting the rock 18 times for 93 yards (5.2 ypc) while catching five passes for 72 yards. His big day was highlighted by a 66-yard touchdown in which he took the outlet pass, made one man miss and then ran away from the entire Raiders defense for the score.
Overall, Gordon totaled 165 yards from scrimmage with his one touchdown. In the process, he became just the second player since 2007 to post a five-game streak of 120-plus scrimmage yards and a touchdown. Jamaal Charles was the only other player to accomplish the feat, doing so in 2013.
"Wow," he said when told of the accomplishment, clearly taken aback to learn the milestone. "That's what's up!"
To his credit, Gordon was quick to pivot from any individual success, instead focusing on the fact the team won their sixth-straight game. However, the Bolts may not have come out on the winning end if not for his back-breaking 66-yard touchdown reception.
With the Chargers up 10-3 just over a minute into the third quarter, the Raiders brought the house on 2nd-and-10 on Los Angeles' 34. Rivers read the play perfectly, hitting Gordon as the hot read, and the rest was history.
"I knew they were bringing the house," he said. "I wasn't sure if their linebacker was going to peel out Melvin or not. Then when he didn't, I wanted to get it to him when he felt the corner fall off. Once he made the corner miss, I knew there was nobody left. That was a huge play in the game."
"I just saw the linebackers (presnap)," Gordon added when describing the play from his point of view. "I saw the blitzer. I knew I was going to be hot, and I had to look quick. Phil knew that too and got me the ball. I made a guy miss and then, obviously, I got some help with Virgil (Green) and Keenan (Allen) down the field. I think Keenan knocked off a defensive end for me. He was hauling (it), so that helped me and obviously, having to think I made another safety miss but after that it was just to the house."
It's plays like this touchdown that make Gordon truly one of the game's elite playmakers. He's simply a threat to score any time he touches the ball.
Just ask Head Coach Anthony Lynn, who explained how those types of plays aren't designed to end up in the end zone.
"It was a huge play because they brought blitz-zero and Philip knows exactly what to do with the ball," Lynn said, "He got it to Melvin on a checkdown, and it turned into a big play. Checkdowns are not designed for that, but it's what we did. I thought Melvin did an outstanding job on that play."
Gordon has rendered his teammates speechless numerous times throughout the year, so they weren't surprised to see him go off once again. Overall, they couldn't be more thankful to have him on their side, knowing he's been instrumental to the team's success
"I've always known him as a hard runner that runs through tackles, but the way he catches the ball out of the backfield is unbelievable," Mike Pouncey said. "And it gives our offense so much stuff that we can throw at different teams; because both of our backs can catch the ball out of the backfield. It's awesome to have him as a running back. He makes us look good. And he made a lot of plays for our offense today."