In a season that has been grim and not filled with many expectations from the Cleveland Browns, there has been one bright spot. The bulb that has shined the brightest is named Josh Gordon. Gordon was picked by the Browns in the second round of the supplemental draft in 2012. He easily would have been a first round pick if he did not get caught up in drug charges at Baylor University in 2011. He later got suspended by head coach Art Briles and then transferred to the University of Utah where he sat out the entire year because he was too late to declare for the supplemental draft of 2011.
However, by the grace of the Browns organization and prayers of Browns fans, Gordon declared for the 2012 supplemental draft and the rest has been history. He faced a hardship during the beginning of the season by being suspended for the first two games due to violating the substance abuse policy. Since then, he has been on an absolute terror throughout the league, and players are beginning to take notice.
Gordon has had to deal with the quarterback carousel with the Browns all season long. For the first weeks it was Brian Hoyer, then it was Brandon Weeden, then Jason Campbell, and then back to Weeden. Throughout all of the turnover he still put up numbers during each game and was always a threat, especially as it pertained to being a deep threat and slant routes — something he was not good at last year. Teams are now having to game plan strictly against him, and even as they do Gordon still makes plays and finds a way to get open.
He had productive games all season but none as good as he did during Weeks 12 and 13. In Week 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers going one on one with defensive back Ike Taylor all game, Gordon amassed 14 receptions for 237 yards and a touchdown. In the next week’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars he finished with ten receptions, for 261 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 26.1 yards per catch which is phenomenal.
In yesterday’s game after a much hyped match up against New England Patriots defensive back Aqib Talib, Gordon had another record game. This time he had seven receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown, averaging 21.6 per catch. All games were losses, including yesterday’s controversial game. He broke the six year receiving yard record set by former Browns receiver Braylon Edwards ( 1,289 yards) by having 1,400 receiving yards this year. Gordon is also the first receiver in NFL history to have back-to-back 200+ yard receiving games. Statistically he is the best receiver in the league this year compared to some of the top names in the league.
Calvin Johnson is second in receiving yards with 1,348 yards, and Andre Johnson is third with 1,277 yards. A.J. Green has 1,175 yards and Larry Fitzgerald has only 774 yards. However, nationally Gordon is not getting the recognition that some of the others are getting. He is not even in the top ten in Pro Bowl voting. It is an atrocity that fans and even some coaches and players get caught up with the name rather than the stats, but it is fact that Gordon is the best receiver in the league this year. The Browns have games left with the Chicago Bears, New York Jets and a second meeting with the Steelers. The only good defensive back who could possibly give him a challenge is Antonio Cromartie of the Jets. These teams better be ready as Gordon is looking to continue to set records in this memorable season.