There is an interesting dynamic taking shape among Broncos Country right now. It involves the Denver Broncos dynamic duo in the offensive backfield.
While Javonte Williams has stolen the hearts of the fans with his punishing runs, his counterpart, Melvin Gordon, seems to be a flashpoint for the fans. Gordon made some statements prior to the Week 14 matchup against the Lions about seeing some fans not wanting him back in 2022, but he says he wants to be here.
On the MHR Radio Podcast, Ian St. Clair and I discussed the running back situation. There are some legitimate questions about Gordon’s game, and his economic fit in Denver, but he has proven to be a huge part of the offense this season.
As Ian pointed out, the big issues for fans with Gordon are two fold. First, there are issues with untimely fumbles. The fumble on 4th and 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles is a perfect example of fumbling at the wrong time (there is no right time, but the point stands). That’s a legitimate concern from a gameplay perspective.
The second issue seems to be his contract. The amount of money that the Broncos gave to Gordon is too high for some, and could be spent in other places. That’s probably true, but it is fascinating how many fans will turn on a player because he costs the team too much money. Let’s not forget, none of us are directly paying any of the players, so it seems silly to me for any of us to get mad at a player for this.
Still, a fairly significant number of fans have decided to push for Gordon to be sent packing at season’s end. I am not so sure that is wise, or even necessary.
Economically, his contract is up at the end of the 2021 season. The Broncos will have a chance to negotiate a new contract. I have no idea what number they will assign him in value, but as it stands right now, the team has just over $48 million in cap space in 2022 according to Over the Cap. The money is there.
From a team perspective, Gordon has been great for the locker room. He has also been excellent as the veteran back paired with Javonte Williams. As a duo, teams know they have to game plan to stop both of them. They have combined for 1,495 yards rushing on the season.
While Williams has the highlight real, Angry Run awards, Gordon has been consistent and reliable. In the game against the Detroit Lions, it was Gordon who topped 100 yards rushing. He’s the guy who softens up the defense.
If you have paid attention to anything I have written recently, or anything I have said on the podcast, you know this is essentially a Javonte Williams fan account. However, there is value in having a RB like Gordon to pair with Williams.
I like them as a duo. I’m not the only one. The national media is picking up on this. Right now, the one thing offensively that can lead this team to victory is the running attack.
The player duo that will have the biggest impact in Week 15 will be _________________.— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) December 15, 2021
@PSchrags: @gkittle46 & @nbsmallerbear@BBBaumgartner: Justin Herbert & @AustinEkeler@KyleBrandt: @Melvingordon25 & @javontewill33 pic.twitter.com/C31q5aDQji
With the Cincinnati Bengals up next on the schedule, every game is a playoff game. They will need Gordon and Williams to continue this pace down the stretch. If the running attack can be effective, the Broncos will have a shot at making the playoffs.
So, let’s stop hating on Melvin Gordon. He makes the Broncos better. Let’s just enjoy the ride.