Melvin Gordon vs. Javonte Williams Prediction: Expect Gordon to Lead Broncos Backfield in Week 1

Melvin Gordon is predicted to lead Denver's backfield in Week 1.
Melvin Gordon is predicted to lead Denver's backfield in Week 1. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Gordon is a lame-duck running back for the Denver Broncos (yes, I’m making that a thing), but Vegas still has confidence in him holding the starting job over Javonte Williams early in the season. 

The Broncos drafted Williams in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but WynnBET doesn’t have him listed on its prop to lead the NFL in combined rushing and receiving yards for Week 1. Gordon, who is in the final year of a two-year deal, has +5000 odds to complete the feat. 

This backfield has all the signs of a timeshare, as Williams didn’t even play in Denver’s final preseason game because the team had already seen enough out of him.

Both Gordon and Williams were solid in the preseason, but it appears that the veteran is going to get the first crack at running away with the starting job. It doesn’t make sense for Denver to let Gordon handle all of the carries after using a second-round pick on Williams, but Gordon’s passing game chops could help him rack up the all-purpose yards. 

Gordon dealt with a timeshare with Phillip Lindsay last season, but he still ran for 986 yards (4.6 yards per carry, which was the second-highest of his career), and caught 32 passes for 158 yards. 

While the yardage wasn’t there in the passing game for Gordon, he should get a boost from Teddy Bridgewater being under center over Drew Lock.

The Broncos wouldn’t have sat Williams in the preseason finale if they weren’t confident in his ability, but Gordon dealt with an injury earlier in camp and seems to have still maintained a solid role in the offense. 

Maybe it will be an even split as the year goes on with Williams eventually taking over, but expect the Broncos to ease the rookie in during Week 1 based on Vegas’ projections.

Does Melvin Gordon lead Denver's backfield over Javonte Williams?

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