Once again, a Melvin Gordon fumble cost the Denver Broncos big-time and contributed mightily to another loss. After losing a costly fumble against the Las Vegas Raiders in Denver's Week 4 loss, Gordon put the ball on the ground again near the goal-line in Week 11.
The fumble happened on the Raiders' 3-yard line on 3rd-&-1 after Gordon had seemingly picked up the yardage to buy Denver a new set of downs. The Broncos fell on the ball, fortunately, but the recovery happened behind the line of scrimmage, forcing Denver into fourth down.
Brandon McManus trotted out for a field-goal attempt, which was from chip-shot distance, but it was blocked by Maxx Crosby, erasing gimme points off the board. Gordon's lack of ball security not only cost the Broncos a likely touchdown, but it led to a bad ensuing special-teams play, and allowed the Raiders to wrest back all of the game's momentum.
Denver never recovered and, once again, collapsed in the clutch. Make no mistake, Gordon was a big reason the Broncos lost to the Raiders for the second time this season, securing a sweep for the third straight season.
After the game, Gordon was wildly tone-deaf when he responded to a question about how his teammates handled his game-changing fumble. Denver7's Troy Renck was there to capture Gordon's remarks on video.
“They were good," Gordon said post-game. "It is not like we did not recover the ball back. They were not probably too [upset]. They were encouraging about it."
Gordon's biggest lament is how the Broncos' losing their seventh game of the season casts a darker pall on his latest fumble. That tells you where his head/heart is at.
"It was just unfortunate that we missed the three points after that because now it looks worse," Gordon said. "And then we lose the game and that gives people something to revert back to, but we were good. We still had two quarters left. We still had a chance to get points after that. It was not the end of the world. Unfortunately for me, it was not something that I wanted to happen.”
Gordon finished the day with eight carries for 31 yards (3.88 avg) and five receptions for 39 yards. However, nothing he did could make up for the negative impact that fumble had on his team.
It's true that the Broncos had two more quarters, plus a possession in overtime, to overcome the negative momentum swing, but Gordon's response proves he's missing the forest for the trees. He's in self-preservation mode more so than caring about the well-being of the Broncos.
Fans have had enough and are demanding that Gordon follow Nathaniel Hackett — the head coach who has seemingly sanctioned the veteran back's fumbling threat to the Broncos — out of town as soon as Monday morning. Don't get your hopes up.
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