The Denver Broncos named Melvin Gordon to running back against the Tennessee Titans last week. Gordon totaled seven carries for 24 rushing yards and four receptions for 46 yards.
These stats are average at best and do not contribute to the overall success of the team. With Latavius Murray and Chase Edmonds, Denver’s running back room has become extremely crowded.
Both newcomers delivered mediocre play during their brief stints in Denver. In the final game, Murray totaled nine rushing attempts for 24 yards and three receptions for 23 yards. Edmonds received just two rushing attempts for nine yards.
Although all three have similar numbers, there is one quality that sets Gordon apart from the other two players: ball security. Gordon continues to fiddle with the football.
Some may remember Gordon’s infamous “bench press” during the Broncos’ Week 6 duel against his old team, the Los Angeles Chargers. After that game, Gordon lamented his demotion.
“Today it hurt a bit to watch,” said Gordon. “They threw up the little clown logo with my face up there and I noticed everything. It sucked.”
The fumble happened again against Tennessee. The Broncos were given a big break – as he was ruled out by contact. However, if Tennessee had appealed the play, the verdict would have been overturned.
What it means
Denver’s uninspiring backfield ultimately falls on the shoulders of head coach Nathaniel Hackett, who has demonstrated his inability to manage staff. On the one hand, giving players another chance to prove themselves is understandable.
However, when a decision is made, the leader must abide by that decision. It’s obvious that ball safety plagues the Broncos, which is another reason players need to be held accountable.
The Gordon Experiment in Denver needs to be thoroughly evaluated. There are two other running backs on the list with similar skills, raising questions about Gordon’s use on this offense.
With a 3-6 record, getting away from Gordon might not even help the Broncos in the short term since their playoff ambitions are very slim. However, GM George Paton would do well to cut the bait for Gordon now to insure against future game-cost fumbling, restore that sense of relief in Broncos Country, and win football games.