After watching the Chargers first pre-season game I find myself with more questions than answers concerning the Chargers running game.
Of course the big story is Melvin Gordon, who looked meh. He was supposed to be the Chargers savior, but looked a lot like Ryan Matthews without the injuries and fumbles. On his first couple of carries he looked a bit hesitant. That did go away as the night went on, but he was definitely upstaged by 3 other guys on the team. I am sure he will get better as he gets more reps and he is not all to blame as the offensive line did not help him out much.
Fluker missed an assignment on the first run. Barksdale later missed a block, by deciding to double team a guy instead of grabbing the DB – this one was huge as it could have turned a modest gain into a big gain for Gordon. And Franklin even whiffed on a block in the second level that allowed a linebacker to swoop in and end one of Gordon’s runs early. I thought this new Chargers O-Line was supposed to be a huge upgrade? I know, I know, its only the first pre-season game. It’s too early to worry.
Danny Woodhead only had one touch, but it was enough to remind us why we love him so much. It would be wrong to give him all the credit though. The only reason he gets to the end zone is because Watt releases up the field and blows up two guys at once. Watch it again, nice play by Watt.
Branden Oliver outshined Gordon so much it got me wondering, who will be the number 1 back on opening day? I am sure McCoy will stick with Gordon, but who is going to get the bulk of the carries? It may just turn out to be Oliver. His TD run was a thing of beauty. He appears to be running straight into a tacklers arms when he plants a sweet jump cut and eludes the guy while breaking #38’s ankles in the process.
Jahwan Edwards was another bright spot for the Chargers. The rookie out of Ball State reminded me a lot of what Branden Oliver was doing last year in the pre-season. He looked shifty, quick, hard to tackle and he was aggressive when he had the ball. I would like to see this guy make the roster.
The other big question is about the running back who we did not see – Donald Brown. Will he make the team? I know the Chargers like him and his teammates tout him as the smartest guy in the locker room, but there appears to be a lot of talent in front of him.
Questions, Questions, Questions… and 3 games left to get answers.
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