December 12, 2017
Chargers RB Melvin Gordon focused on playoff hunt, not 1,000-yard season

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- He finished last season just three yards shy of the 1,000-yard rushing mark, long considered the measuring bar for NFL running backs.

With three games left this season, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is once again close to reaching that mark.

Gordon totaled 78 rushing yards on 22 carries in a win over the Washington Redskins last week, including a 1-yard run for a score late in the game.

“He ran hard,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said. “He ran between the tackles a lot, and I like the way he finished the game.”

Gordon is No. 8 in the NFL with 853 rushing yards on 229 carries and is averaging 3.7 yards per rush. Gordon’s 10 total touchdowns rank fourth in the league.

Although he’s just 147 yards from reaching 1,000, Gordon said he’s more concerned with helping his team reach the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

“I haven’t even thought about it,” Gordon said. “Last time I thought about it I was three yards away (last year) and came up short thinking about it. I’m not even worried about it. If it comes, it comes. I’m just going go to go out there to play these next three games and then see where we’re at.”

Gordon is also looking to play a full 16-game season for the first time in his NFL career.

Fumbling had been a concern early on in the Wisconsin product’s pro career. He fumbled eight times through his first two seasons in the league, losing six of those. This season, however, Gordon has the most touches (272) in the NFL without a fumble.

Although Lynn said that Gordon is doing a solid job overall running the football, he would like to see more efficiency overall in the running game. The Chargers are No. 24 overall running the football, averaging 99.5 rushing yards a game. The Chargers' 3.84 yards-per-carry average ranks just 22nd in the league.

“I love the fact that the rush attempts are going up,” Lynn said. “When the rush attempts have gone up, that’s when we’ve started winning. ... But the run efficiency isn’t what we need, and that’s what we need to improve and be more detailed.”

Gordon knows with the way Philip Rivers is throwing the football, he’ll have to be patient and make the most of the touches he gets. In his last four games, Rivers has completed 69 percent of his passes for 1,348 passing yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

“Right now Phil is on fire, and I understand that,” Gordon said. “You’ve got to go with the hot hand. When I get my little streak going, then they’re going to play through me. But Phil is playing at another level right now, so we’re going to play through him, which is cool with me.”

Source: ESPN | Eric D. Williams | December 12, 2017