SAN DIEGO - While Monday came with a feel-good vibe which accompanies a 30-14 win over the Miami Dolphins it wasn't all smiles and giggles at Chargers Park.
The San Diego Chargers' so-called home-run hitter is heading for the bench.
Rookie running back Melvin Gordon's season is done because of torn cartilage in his left knee. He was moved to injured reserve before undergoing surgery, ending what was a disappointing season.
When the Chargers moved up two spots to draft Gordon in the first round, the Chargers brass sold this scenario: they had a home-run hitter in the backfield who could be a difference-maker.
Instead, Gordon turned into a singles hitter, unable to break loose with a long run.
Gordon's season came with much hype but produced little else. He never rushed for 100 yards in a game and never scored a touchdown of any kind.
McCoy said Gordon alone isn't at fault.
"It's all 11 guys doing their job better," McCoy said.
Gordon ran behind an offensive line which has been in a state of flux for the entire season. Trying to get a read on what blockers will do, and when, was a chore for Gordon.
But last year's Heisman Trophy finalist is to blame, too. He often danced too much before hitting holes, instead of planting his foot and making a decisive move before the seam closed up.
Still, would McCoy - who loudly sang Gordon's praises before the season - be surprised if back in April someone would have suggested Gordon would struggle so mightily?
"Surprised? Yeah, I would have been surprised," McCoy said. "But a lot of things have surprised me this season."
The season, much like Gordon, never gain any traction. While the Chargers (4-10) enjoy Sunday's win, it came only after the team had lost five straight at home. And with the win, the Chargers have won twice in their last 10 games.
So Gordon is done, something the Chargers have been for quite some time.
But they will try and finish strong, with two games remaining against the Raiders and Broncos.
"I never thought I would say it," quarterback Philip Rivers said. "But 6-10 sounds pretty dang good at this point."
REPORT CARD VS. DOLPHINS
--PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus. Philip Rivers wasn't spectacular but he was pretty darn good in throwing for three touchdowns - all to Danny Woodhead. Rivers admits he was forcing passes toward Malcom Floyd as he played his last home game of his career. Rivers got picked off twice, but the ball came back to him when the return was fumbled. He was sacked but once, so the pass-blocking was doing its chore. Eight different receivers caught passes, with Antonio Gates turning back the clock again to snag six receptions for a team-high 88 yards.
--RUSHING OFFENSE: B. Despite losing Melvin Gordon to a knee injury, the running game had one of its best days of the season with 140 yards. Please note that 90 of those yards came on 12 carries from Donald Brown. But the Chargers don't care, choosing instead to embrace the idea of establishing a running game. That the Chargers scored their first rushing touchdown since opening day tells you all you need to know about how dismal they've run the ball. Danny Woodhead has all three rushing touchdowns the Chargers have collected this season. Run-blocking was better, although Miami's line won its fair share of plays.
--PASS DEFENSE: B. Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill never did get in much of a rhythm. The back end was strong with Jason Verrett and Eric Weddle having decent days. But the real key was the heat that was generated on Tannehill. He was sacked three times, hit on numerous other plays and unable to use his mobility to extend plays.
-- RUSH DEFENSE: A. The Chargers allowed a season-low 44 rushing yards as the front seven had one of its best outings on the year. The top four Chargers in tackles were either defensive linemen or linebackers. That tells you Miami's rushers seldom got to the second, let alone, third levels of the Chargers' defense. When Eric Weddle has but two tackles, that's a sign that the front seven was doing a stellar job.
--SPECIAL TEAMS: B. Josh Lambo missed an extra point but the Chargers are starting to show some juice on the return game. Gavotte Herndon brought back a punt for 18 yards, which is heady stuff for a unit which had just 1 punt-return yard through 10 games. The coverage units had a slight leak or two, but nothing significant. Mike Scifres was so-so with his punts.
--COACHING: A. Coach Mike McCoy was able to have his players channel the energy of the crowd and used it to the team's advantage. It seemed as if the defense, which has played well of late, was particularly ready to play. It shut down the Dolphins' running game, daring Tannehill to beat the defense - he seldom did. McCoy had Rivers use the hurry-up offense to his liking and the results was a Dolphins defense that looked gassed at the end of some drives.