Melvin Gordon is a giant difference maker in the Chargers high-potent offense. Obviously in the running game but now has become a weapon as a receiver. His loss was definitely something to keep an eye on in the Sunday Night Football game vs. the Steelers. After being held to zero rush yards in the first half, 7th round rookie Justin Jackson led the charge in the 2nd half with 63 yards including his first career NFL TD. Jackson was confident heading into the game. A text message from Gordon hours before the game gave the rookie RB a shot of confidence. Gordon said, “I believe in you guys, Derek Watt’s going to lead you guys, and just do what you do.” Derek Watt sets the tone in the running game by constantly battling LBs full speed. Follow him and you’ll get some daylight.
Making the jump from college to the pros is never an easy one. As we can see in Gordon’s production from his rookie season to his sophomore season. Drafting his college fullback was an absolute home run for the Chargers. Gordon’s had a smile on his face from the day Watt’s name was called on draft day. Not to mention in the offseason has the luxury of working out with JJ Watt and TJ Watt who are physical freaks. Derek was actually the most highly recruited one of them out of high school.
NFL scouts picked Melvin Gordon to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year ahead of Todd Gurley. Once the season kicked off it was a different narrative for Gordon who only rushed for 600 yards and zero TDs. He didn’t look comfortable running the football and was indecisive in his cuts. A year later, Gordon would have gone over 1,000 yards if he wasn’t held out of week 17 with an injury, he ended with 997 yards. It’s no coincidence after they drafted the fullback that blocked for Gordon during his illustrious college career at Wisconsin.
This Chargers team is different. The balance of run and pass gives them an edge over most AFC teams. Derek Watt is the heartbeat of the Chargers running game. Follow him and he’ll get you tough yards late in the game. He doesn’t get the glory because he doesn’t touch the ball very often. If you watch Watt he is constantly putting down defensive players opening up holes. The only thing left for Rivers is a chance at a Lombardi Trophy and quiet stars like Derek Watt help. Look for Watt to make a few pro-bowls when his career is over.