Broncos Country needs to rally around Melvin Gordon on Thursday
I’m not exactly breaking news here when I say Broncos Country has had it with Melvin Gordon. His fumble and subsequent score by the Raiders was the final nail in the ‘ol proverbial coffin when it comes to his relationship with Broncos fans.
Not that said relationship was ever really great. Broncos Country never really warmed to Gordon. He came over from the rival Chargers. His contract was deemed excessive. He was competing for carries with hometown hero Philip Lindsay. He didn’t attend OTAs. He got pulled over for drunk driving. And he fumbled. Oh how he has fumbled.
The fumble against the Raiders was the last straw for many fans and media. Calls to fire him immediately rang out across the entire Rocky Mountain region. While I love a good “hot take,” I believe in this instance such hyperbole is foolish, and untimely.
I propose something different. I urge Broncos fans to rally around Gordon.
This is all about timing. With the Broncos in a short week, Javonte Williams hurt and Latavius Murray still dealing with London jet lag, the Broncos need Gordon. He knows the playbook. He’s the Broncos’ best all-around back. Most of all, he’s trustworthy when it comes to blitz pickup. This is no small thing.
Let me ask this question: What’s the bigger gamble you’re willing to take – that Gordon fumbles again Thursday night or a Murray or Mike Boone zigs when they’re supposed to zag and a free rusher gets a potential crippling shot on your $250 million quarterback?
The other reason to rally around Gordon? This could be a situation where he thrives. For some bizarre reason, Melvin doesn’t handle competition well. He didn’t like competing for carries with Danny Woodhead and Austin Ekeler with the Chargers, and same here in Denver with Lindsay and Williams. Gordon has admitted it messes with his head and it causes fumbles.
On Thursday night, there doesn’t figure to be much competition, at least at the start of the game. This is an opportunity for Gordon to get carries early, get into a rhythm and gain confidence. Plus, let’s be real: Gordon knows he’s playing for his Broncos career against the Colts and he should be running like a man possessed. Another bad game and he’s likely done with the Broncos. General manager George Paton will have almost a full bye week to reconfigure the team’s running back room and Nathaniel Hackett will have that time to get Murray up to speed.
I know I’m asking a lot from Broncos Country to lend their support to Gordon. I’ve seen and heard the impatience of the fans at home games this season. The boos and sarcastic counting down of the play clock are things I love. It shows how demanding the fans are and I applaud them for it. I know if you’re going to the game your initial inclination is to shower boos on Gordon the moment he touches the ball.
I’d ask that you resist that temptation and cheer on Melvin Gordon. The Broncos need a win Thursday night. Give him your support and the rest is up to him. After the game? Well, then, all bets are off.