Chargers’ Gordon deservedly named AFC Offensive Player of the Week
By Matt Pagels
Chargers RB Melvin Gordon shined in Sunday’s win against the Giants.
Melvin Gordon wanted the ball.
And he got his wish. A week after touching the ball 11 times (10 rushes and one reception), the third-year pro finished with 163 yards from scrimmage on 26 touches (20 rushing attempts and six catches), including rushing for 100-plus yards (105) for the first time this season.
Gordon also found the end zone twice, having two catches go for touchdowns, including a go-ahead 10-yard receiving touchdown on third down with 2:58 left in the fourth quarter. He put up solid numbers while also helping the Chargers (1-4) win their first game of the 2017 season.
His performance was worthy enough of winning the AFC Player of the Week award for Week 5.
Gordon deserved it. He ran like a different person Sunday. He ran with anger. He ran with burst. He ran with a purpose. He played a big role in the Chargers snapping their nine-game losing streak. Oh, and he had one hell of a stiff arm on top corner Janoris Jenkins.
Before Week 5, Gordon was having trouble finding the holes, hesitating more often than not. Up until Sunday, he averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry in three of the first four games of the season. He was also on the injury report prior to last week’s game, as fans insinuated that something might have been wrong with him.
Gordon was elusive against New York. He finished with a 5.2 yards-per-carry average against a stingy Giants defense, one that boasts the top run stuffer in the game in Damon Harrison.
His ability to break tackles helped his game. It was one of the reasons why Gordon finished as Pro Football Focus’ top running back for Week 5.
“He was very effective producing yards beyond his blockers earning 3.6 yards after contact per carry while forcing three missed tackles. Gordon was also productive in the passing game catching six of eight targets generating a 1.81 yards per route run average and forcing an additional two missed tackles.” – PFF on Gordon’s Week 5 performance
Overall, Gordon has the third-highest overall grade among running backs through five weeks and has forced 23 missed tackles, good for third-most in the league, as noted by PFF.
The Chargers need to keep feeding him.