OAKLAND -- Melvin Gordon knew on the opening drive of the second half he could spring a big play.
"I feel like every time a player gets the ball in his hand, he wants to take it to the house," Gordon said. "It doesn't always work out how you think. But sometimes when things happen, with some help you get sprung out down there."
Gordon's touchdown was the longest reception of his career, and his longest play from scrimmage this season. But big plays are something Gordon has been doing all year. He now has 17 explosive plays, which are defined as runs of 15-plus yards and or receptions of 20-plus yards. Only Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill (19) has more.
"I've always known him as a hard runner that runs through tackles," Chargers center Mike Pouncey said. "But the way he catches the ball out of the backfield is unbelievable. It gives our offense so much different stuff that we can throw at teams because both of our backs can catch the ball out of the backfield.
"So it's awesome to have him as a running back. He makes us look good, and he made a lot of plays for our offense today."
Gordon finished with 165 yards from scrimmage against the Raiders, with 93 rushing yards on 18 carries, along with five receptions for 72 yards. The Wisconsin product now has 1,033 yards from scrimmage and 11 total touchdowns on the year.
Gordon scored the touchdown on a second-and-10 play from the Chargers' 34-yard line. The Raiders were caught in a blitz and he anticipated Philip Rivers getting the ball out early.
"I saw the linebacker blitzing and I knew I was going to be hot," Gordon said. "I knew I had to look quick. Phil knew that too, and got me the ball. I made a guy miss and then obviously I got some help with Virgil [Green] and Keenan [Allen] down the field. I think Keenan knocked off a D-end for me, and he was hauling ass."
Pouncey said Gordon's impressive catch-and-run was just another example of what Gordon can do when you get him in space.
"Melvin's an awesome football player," Pouncey said. "And he was excited in the second half to go out there and get the ball. And when he got the ball in his hands, he made a play. And it was huge for our football team."
Gordon said when he was taken in the first round of the 2015 draft by the Chargers that he would have to develop into an all-round back. Having a former tight ends coach like Alfredo Roberts as his running backs coach has given him a different perspective on catching the ball out of the backfield, Gordon said.
"I'm just trying to make the best out of my opportunities and do it all," Gordon said. "I knew coming to the Chargers and playing with Phil, you just have to broaden your game. You can't just be a runner like I was at Wisconsin. And I could catch at Wisconsin, we just didn't have to. But I knew coming here I would become a better overall player."