NFL wrap – Melvin Gordon, Lions, Raiders, AFC North, Jay Ajayi
Melvin Gordon’s day out
San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon continued his impressive second year with his best game to date. Gordon ran for 196 yards against the Titans and also hauled in 65 receiving yards for an enormous 261 yards from scrimmage. He now has a league-high 11 touchdowns for the year, which shows his value to the Chargers. When Gordon plays well the Chargers win, simple.
Lions make their move
The Detroit Lions improved to 5-4 and closed in on top spot in the NFC North with an overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings. Matthew Stafford led the last quarter heroics to force an overtime, in which he marched them down the field for the winning touchdown to Golden Tate. Although the Lions face stiff competition from the Vikings and Packers for top spot in the division, their last quarter heroics are keeping them in matches, and no team wants to give Stafford an opportunity to win a match on the final drive because he will make you pay.
Raiders claim top spot in AFC West
The Oakland Raiders claimed a 30-20 win over reigning Super Bowl champions, the Denver Broncos, and in doing so claimed top spot in the AFC West. The Raiders O-line dominated the Broncos’ defence and allowed running back Latavius Murray to thrive. On the defensive side of the ball, Kahlil Mack was back to his best, sacking Trevor Siemian twice, while Bruce Irvin also applied pressure in the pass rush. The Raiders are looking like a well balanced side at the moment and their dominance over the Broncos’ defence shows they are a team on the rise.
AFC North heading for a tight finish
What a division the AFC North is shaping up to be. Currently the Baltimore Ravens are on top with a 4-4 record, the Pittsburgh Steelers next, also on 4-4 and the Cincinnati Bengals half a game behind at 3-4-1. The divisional games will be key to deciding who makes the playoffs. The return of Big Ben makes you think advantage Steelers, however both the Ravens and Bengals have the firepower to claim top spot. This is definitely one division you want to keep an eye on.
Ajayi continues good form, leads Dolphins to win
The Miami Dolphins have turned their season around from a 1-4 start to be 4-4 at the halfway mark. Second-year running back Jay Ajayi has been the man to lead the Dolphins back into playoff contention. In the win over the Jets, Ajayi ran for 111 yards from 24 attempts and one touchdown, in a performance many believe is his best yet. In the Dolphins previous two matches, against the Steelers and Bills, Ajayi ran for 204 yards and 214 yards respectively. If Ajayi keeps up the impressive performances, the Dolphins will be eyeing off a wildcard playoff spot.