Robert Griffin III chronicles Russell Wilson’s primetime failures by capturing Melvin Gordon’s expression through two primetime moments.
Before the season began, the idea that Russell Wilson would have five primetime NFL games and seven nationally-televised games seemed like an enticing prospect. The Wilson move had all the makings of a Peyton Manning reenactment and a Broncos franchise revival. As the fourth primetime Monday Night Football game versus the Los Angeles Chargers made clear, watching the Broncos in primetime has become a cruel, unrelenting joke on the NFL public.
One person who had a firsthand look at seeing Wilson fail spectacularly on Monday night was Robert Griffin III, who was co-hosting ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown. For the second time this season, Griffin found himself at a loss for words, so he looked instead to the face of Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III.
Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is the one speaking in the video clip, but Gordon’s unfazed expression conveys his own frustration with the feeble Broncos offense. Gordon worked hard to redeem himself of his fumbling foibles in their Thursday Night Game versus the Indianapolis Colts, but a decision to pass at the one-yard line was one of many choices that cost the Broncos the game.
And in that game too, Griffin wondered what Gordon must have been thinking in a now-viral snapshot.
While Griffin asked NFL Twitter to caption the photos, Gordon essentially did that himself following the 19-16 loss to the Chargers.
Melvin Gordon finally vocalized his frustration with Broncos offense after MNF failures
For reasons that are apparently unknown to Melvin Gordon, he was effectively benched for the last three quarters of the game. Gordon logged three carries for eight yards in the first quarter, then the Broncos seemed to let go of any fixations on the run game as Gordon sat on the bench.
After the game, Gordon unfortunately had the same expression he wore on the sideline: a mixture of confusion, frustration and regret over what could have been.
“I really can’t explain it,” Gordon said of perceived sideline frustration. “I am a little bitter that we lost the game.”
“I don’t know,” Gordon said of the second-half switch to bench him. “Me and you both kinda clueless on that.”
Gordon also offered his own caption to his sideline expressions.
“Just waiting for my number to get called so I can go out there and help my teammates.”
“It was a close game,” he continued. “I felt like I could’ve helped make a difference, but apparently not.”
Although RGIII joked around by turning Gordon’s expression into a meme, it’s difficult for any football fan to see Gordon and him teammates visibly frustrated by the decisions made by Wilson and the offensive coaching staff.
The Broncos have opted to abandon the run in two key games now, games they could have won by a narrow margin.
For what it’s worth, Gordon doesn’t understand these decisions, either. Frankly, the Broncos have quite a bit of explaining to do in regards to their decisions under the primetime limelight.