LA Chargers News

Chargers’ Week 2 high and low voltage performers

BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Melvin Gordon III #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after scoring a touchdown during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on September 16, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Melvin Gordon III #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after scoring a touchdown during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on September 16, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Chargers running back Melvin Gordon found the end zone three times against the Bills in week two, despite recording just 66 total yards. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Chargers running back Melvin Gordon found the end zone three times against the Bills in week two, despite recording just 66 total yards. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Low Voltage Performer:  Melvin Gordon, Running Back

This was extremely difficult given his touchdown production. Full disclosure, it was extremely tempting to deem Melvin Gordon a high and low voltage performer, because finding the end zone three times was undoubtedly valuable in the Chargers’ victory. The University of Wisconsin product ran for a 20-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He followed it up with a pair of scoring receptions in the second quarter from nine and two yards out, respectively.

Even though he was a fantasy football darling, placing him in both categories would have been an absolute cop-out. Given his porous yardage production against a below-average defense, Gordon finds himself with a low voltage badge after his Week 2 performance.

The four-year veteran tailback could not find any consistent rhythm in the running game, as he recorded nine attempts for a measly 31 yards and a 3.1 yards-per-carry average. Take away his 20-yard touchdown scamper, and Gordon would have racked up just eight rushing yards on eight carries

He added in six catches for just 38 receiving yards.

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What does not help Gordon in this scenario is that he was outplayed by backup running back Austin Ekeler. The second-year tailback racked up 11 carries for a team-high 75 rushing yards to go along with three catches for 21 receiving yards. Witnessing Ekeler barrel his way down the middle of the Bills’ defense with electricity was a common sight.

Not so much for Gordon. The former first-round draft pick struggled to establish a consistent north-south running style against the Buffalo defense, which hindered his overall performance in Week 2. This trend from Gordon cannot persist if he wants to enter the discussion of becoming a legitimate elite NFL running back.

If the Chargers want to routinely beat above-average teams across the NFL, their starting running back needs to increase his yardage output because recording this many touchdowns is not sustainable on a game-by-game basis.

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