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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KANSAS CITY, MO – DECEMBER 16: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers rushes the ball through traffic during the first quarter of the against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. ( Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images )
KANSAS CITY, MO – DECEMBER 16: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers rushes the ball through traffic during the first quarter of the against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. ( Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images )

Melvin Gordon: How he helps team win on Monday

First up, the game log. Under Anthony Lynn, Gordon averages 138 total yards per game against the Chiefs, never faltering below four yards per carry in all three games (he missed the second game last year).

Second: Rivers is turning the ball over, and whether that’s on him, the play calls, or the pass protection, Gordon can at least help him out. The offense seems to perform much better running the football, as was evident on Thursday night. For whatever reason, the Chargers (some would say Rivers) would move away from this in the red zone. Maybe 17 has seen enough running back fumbles at the goal line for one season.

Finally, this is truly a road game in what is an unpredictable environment. Outside of defense, nothing is more important for a football team to bring on the road than a running game. If anything, it keeps talented opposing quarterbacks off the field and the team’s defense fresh; if that sounds familiar, it’s exactly what the Chargers did to the Packers in Week 9.

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This entire article would be about how Ekeler and Jackson are the keys to victory on Monday had Gordon not returned. But, he has returned, and it looks like his play-making ability has finally caught up to him. Is it a sign of excellence to come, or is it setting fans up for disappointment, and reminding us to not swing in either a positive or negative direction so quickly? We’re all hoping for the former, and if Gordon can play at an elite level against the Chiefs, he may be saving the team’s entire season doing so.

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