When third-year Chargers’ running back Melvin Gordon visits former University of Wisconsin teammate, Patriots running back, James White, it is a stark reminder of what the ultimate goal is as an NFL player.
“Winning season, man. We want a Super Bowl,” Gordon told NFL Total Access. “My boy James White, he has two of those things. I go to his apartment and you open up the little case and they’ve got the light flashing on the ring. All you can think about is I wish that could be me.”
White, of course, is coming off of his second Super Bowl championship in his third season with the Patriots. Gordon has yet to play in the playoffs in his young career, something he hopes changes very soon.
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Last season Gordon rushed for 997 yards on 254 attempts with 10 touchdowns. He added 41 receptions for 419 yards and two touchdowns. All this in just 14 games. The breakout season for Gordon was just his second in the league, however, he knows that some lifelong Chargers are bit long in the tooth and that it’s time to finally win one for Antonio Gates and Phillip Rivers.
“Father Time is coming with my boy Antonio Gates and Philip Rivers,” Gordon said, via NFL.com. “It would mean a lot to get those guys that ring before they step down, especially Gates. I think we might lose him after this year; you never know with Gates. But it would be love to have him walk away with a ring and put that stamp on his career, so that’s definitely what we want.”
After back-to-back last place finishes in the AFC West the Chargers fired head coach Mike McCoy after four seasons and brought in Anthony Lynn to lead the team as it makes the transition from San Diego to Los Angeles.
The Chargers haven’t made the playoffs since 2013 and haven’t won more than 10 games since 2009. That year they went 13-3 and it was the last of four consecutive trips to the playoffs for the Chargers. And the last time they won the division. Since then, it has been a rocky road filled with injuries and misfortune.
Things will have to change in 2017 for the Chargers to have a shot. Phillip Rivers is the Chargers all-time leading passer and Antonio Gates is the all-time receiving leader for the Chargers, but together they have won just four playoff games.
The Oakland Raiders are the hot team heading into 2017, however, a division crown is no sure thing. Derek Carr is coming off a brutal leg injury at the end of last year and it’s no guarantee that they will roll to double digit wins again. The Broncos and Chiefs will present challenges, but if the Chargers can stay healthy, the offense will produce with the best of them. They could finally catch a break and make a run to the postseason.
Perhaps a playoff berth is all this team needs. Gordon surely believes it can happen.
– Ian Glendon is a National Co-Editor for cover32 and the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots. He covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on Follow @iglen31 Follow @cover32_NE and Facebook.