Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has played three games this season, but still hasn’t had the breakout game that everyone has expected to happen. In Week 8, the Chargers and Gordon go against the Chicago Bears and this won’t be the week that the breakout happens, so let’s breakdown why.
The biggest reason Gordon isn’t going to break out is because of the lack of trust that the team has in him. In the last game against the Tennessee Titans, he had 16 carries, which is the most he has had so far this year.
With those 16 carries, he only rushed for 32 yards, which is an average of two yards per carry. He also had the crucial fumble near the goal line that cost the Chargers a chance at a victory. Gordon said coming into the last game that he would break out once he received more reps, but evidently 16 reps weren’t enough.
So how many carries does he exactly need to break out? After the last game and the fumbles at the one-yard-line, it’s hard to imagine the team is rushing to give him more carries.
Austin Ekeler has been a great back, especially catching the ball, and this week it wouldn’t be shocking to see Ekeler get most of the snaps.
Bears run defense
The Bears are big up front and overall they have a great defense. Last week, they struggled against the Saints, which means they are going to place even more emphasis on this game.
On the season, the Bears’ defense is giving up 94.3 yards per game on the ground. Compare that to the Titans, who the Chargers just faced, who are giving up 95.1 yards per game rushing.
Overall, this is going to be a game where the Chargers have trouble moving the ball and giving up on Gordon might be the easiest thing to do.
The Chargers might also find some success passing to Ekeler throwing out of the backfield, which is going to really cut into Gordon’s carries.
The Chargers easily could force-feed Gordon the ball, but he hasn’t committed to the team long-term and with this season almost a lost cause, it makes sense for the Chargers to play guys who are going to be on the team past this season.
As the season goes on, it wouldn’t be shocking if Ekeler goes back to being the starter with Gordon being his backup.