Josh Gordon is really good at catching the football. Through 14 weeks of football, the man leading the league in receiving yards is Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns. Yes, he has more yards than Andre Johnson, more yards than A.J. Green and, yes, more yards than the all-mighty Megatron.
The thing is if you gave the average NFL fans five guesses, I can almost guarantee you they would not guess Gordon to be the league leader. The 22-year-old wideout has been defying all odds this season, and while there are many takeaways from his recent performance, here are the top five.
Having Gordon on Your Fantasy Team is the Best
I can say from experience, that having Gordon in fantasy football this year has been nothing short of awesome. Gordon started out the season serving a two-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy but came back in Week 3 and began his dominance.
In Gordon’s first game he reeled in 10 passes and went for 146 yards including a touchdown. If he wasn’t already on someone’s fantasy team, I can guarantee he was after that.
Alshon Jeffery and Josh Gordon are my MUST draft WRs next season in Fantasy Football. #unstoppable— Matt Milam (@MattHoncho) December 10, 2013
Gordon has played 11 games this season (missing two due to his suspension) and is still leading the league in yards. For dynasty leagues, Gordon is a must-keep seeing that he has established himself as one of the top receivers in the NFL. Gordon, like Alshon Jeffery, has been a fantasy gem this year, and it has been awesome.
Gordon’s Performances are no Fluke
Gordon is continuing to prove that his dominant performances are no joke. Gordon has had to deal with the Browns’ revolving door of starting quarterbacks but has found success with each and every one of them.
Gordon has 1,400 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games this season and has been picking up his pace as of late. With 237 yards in Week 12 and 261 yards in Week 13, Gordon became the first wide receiver to go for over 200 yards in consecutive games. The first EVER! In history!
Four straight games with at least 125 yards and at least one touchdown in each? Yeah, Josh Gordon is no joke.
The Browns were Right to Keep Gordon
After the Browns made the move to trade Trent Richardson to the Colts, many thought that Gordon would be the next player shipped out of Cleveland. Trade rumors swirled for a few weeks that Gordon could possibly be traded somewhere, but the Browns ended up keeping Gordon.
Since the deadline has passed, Gordon has made it very obvious that the Browns were smart to keep him. The former Baylor receiver has shown that he is a guy that you can build an offense around—a truth that cannot be said about many wide receivers.
From @EliasSports: Josh Gordon leads NFL in Rec yds & Yds per rec. The last to lead the NFL in both: Crazy Legs Hirsch in 1951 (min. 30 rec)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 10, 2013
Gordon is a Top-5 NFL Wide Receiver
If I had to pick one to start an NFL team with today, Gordon would be in my top five—no doubt about it. Calvin Johnson would be the obvious top pick, but with four other spots open in the top five, Gordon has to be one of them.
It can’t be forgotten that Gordon is just 22, and this is only his second year in the league. Not only that, but he is 6’3” and 225 pounds. The kid is a freak. Gordon is averaging 19.7 yards per reception and has the most catches of over 20 yards in the league with 24.
The thing is it’s not like the Browns are just throwing bombs to Gordon. He’s third in the NFL in yards after reception, just behind Demaryius Thomas and Pierre Thomas.
Gordon can get open deep or make plays with the ball in his hand—either way he has been almost unstoppable. Look for Gordon to finish these last three games strong and continue to establish himself as a top wideout.
Gordon Had a Shot at Calvin’s Record and Still Does
Had it not been for Gordon’s suspension in the first two weeks, Gordon might have ended up breaking Calvin Johnson’s record for receiving yards in a season. Megatron got the record last year when he went for an absurd 1,964 yards. During the 2012 season, Calvin averaged 122.8 yards per game, a number that Gordon has beaten (for now) this year.
Gordon is averaging 127.3 yards per game in 11 games. Assuming Gordon stuck to that average over 16 games, he would break Calvin’s record and finish the year with about 2,037 yards.
Now, obviously, Gordon cannot play 16 games this year seeing as he only has three games left, but with the way he has been playing, the record is actually still not completely out of reach.
Josh Gordon: 122 rec yds today, 745 over last 4 games (2 yds shy of breaking Calvin Johnson's record for most in 4-game span in NFL history)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 8, 2013
Gordon is 564 yards back of Calvin’s record currently and will need to average 188 yards over the final three weeks to tie Megatron’s record. It is just speculation and seems nearly impossible, but Gordon has 649 yards in his three most recent games—a little over 216 yards per game.
If Gordon can come close to repeating these past three weeks, it would go down as one of the best seasons ever for a wide receiver, and it would be in just 14 games.
No matter what happens over these final three Browns games, this has been a fascinating season from Gordon. The Cleveland wideout has been one of the most exciting players in the league and has Browns fans hopeful that he’ll be around for a long time.
All stats obtained from espn.com/nfl/statistics.