Week 1 is here. The Denver Broncos play the Los Angeles Chargers at Mile High on Monday Night Football.
Undoubtedly, one of the Chargers’ biggest weapons is their third-year running back, who came close to having a 1,000-yard season in 2016.
Gordon is an intriguing matchup as he provides an early insight into how the Broncos’ run defense will look after a poor 2016 that allowed an average of 130 rushing yards.
Gordon was selected by the Chargers in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Out of Wisconsin, he had impressive stats coming into the NFL, per ESPN:
However, Gordon didn’t have the best of rookie seasons in the NFL.
After being selected in the first round, he played 14 games as a rookie for the Chargers, failing to score a touchdown. He is only the seventh player in NFL history to do this.
However, any thoughts that Gordon could be a bust were short-lived as he bounced back in his sophomore year in the NFL with 10 touchdowns and 997 running yards, taking his yards per carry average from 3.5 to 3.9.
He was also a useful threat in the passing game for the injury-hit Chargers, reeling in 41 catches on 57 targets for 419 yards and two touchdowns for an average of 10.2.
As Broncos fans are all too aware, Gordon can be a threat with the ball in hand, putting up 155 all-purpose yards when the Broncos defeated the Chargers 27-13 at Mile High on October 30, averaging 4.8 in the run game and 11 yards in the passing game.
While he wasn’t targeted by Philip Rivers in the passing game when the Broncos lost their first game last season, Gordon still had 94 yards on the ground for an average of 3.5.
He has yet to score a touchdown against the Broncos, but he is more than capable of moving the chains and making big plays, and the Broncos’ revamped defensive line will need to be on top of its game to halt Gordon on opening night.
Photo Credit: Melvin Gordon Twitter.