Chargers Free Agency

How Melvin Gordon can go from despised to season hero on Monday

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers carries the ball as cornerback Steven Nelson #20 of the Kansas City Chiefs defends during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers carries the ball as cornerback Steven Nelson #20 of the Kansas City Chiefs defends during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
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CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers gets tackled by Chris Jones #95 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter at StubHub Center on September 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers gets tackled by Chris Jones #95 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter at StubHub Center on September 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Melvin Gordon returns to form

Were eight attempts for 31 yards much against the Bears? No, but the 19-yard bruising touchdown certainly was. Gordon could finally breathe. Since then: 42 carries for 188 yards and four touchdowns, as well as chipping in four receptions for 54 yards.

Admittedly, it feels good to not have outwardly expressed disdain for the running back so quickly, because the NFL can change in an instant. Averaging 4.9 yards per carry against the Raiders, Gordon pushed the narrative from get him off the field to please give him the football again.

As a side note, Ekeler should have more than eight touches per game, or he at least needs to be given more receiving targets. However, it is worth noting he’s averaging 3.5 yards per carry since Week 5. Do with that information what you will.

So now it’s do-or-die time for the Chargers as they head to Mexico City to take on the Kansas City Chiefs, who are only second to the New England Patriots on the Chargers-have-a-hard-time-beating-them scale.

And here’s why Gordon is the key to the team’s success on Monday:

  1. He plays well against the Chiefs.
  2. Rivers needs help.
  3. To win road games (let’s face it, this is a road game) the run game has to work.
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