NFL Week 5
Photo Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Gordon: 5.81

It has been a rough couple of weeks for Melvin Gordon. He returned to the Los Angeles Chargers last week after unsuccessfully holding out in the hopes of acquiring a new contract. Yesterday, in his first game seeing the field since his holdout began, he struggled immensely, receiving an OSM grade of 5.81, fourth-worst among the running backs that have played so far.

One of Gordon’s worst statistics was his efficiency rating, which was the third-worst of any running back graded so far at 5.27. The efficiency rating measures the number of yards a player traveled in total distance relative to the number of yards that they actually gained. The higher that number is, the less efficient the runner, one that danced around in the backfield instead of just running straight ahead. And Gordon’s lack of efficiency in his running had a clear effect on his production, leading to an abysmal 2.6 yards per carry, the third-worst of among qualifying running backs.

Making his grade even worse was the fact that Gordon produced these dismal numbers while facing eight or more defenders in the box just 8.33% of the time. Only six qualifying running backs were in that situation less often than Gordon. Unsurprisingly, most of those players had significantly higher efficiency ratings and rushing averages than Gordon did. When they were handed the ball, they faced little to no resistance, so it makes sense that they had an easier time gaining yards by running straight ahead.

Gordon was in a similar situation but failed to achieve anywhere close to the same results. He will need to perform significantly better in future games if he wants to earn the contract he held out for. And Los Angeles needs him to improve as well because if this game was any indication, they will have trouble winning if he doesn’t.