Much was made of the Cleveland Browns slow start in Kansas City, when the offense went three-and-out on it first three possessions.
But that summary judgment is a classic case of letting the facts get in the way of a good story, because it ignores a convenient fact: Had Josh Gordon turned around in time to see the second pass Campbell threw the entire narrative would have changed.
Coach Norv Turner went aggressive on the Browns' first possession, and had Gordon run a deep route down the left sideline on third-and-7.
Campbell lofted a perfect pass that would have hit Gordon in stride -- but Gordon said he turned and looked in the wrong spot for the ball. Instead of a deep completion that had an excellent chance to be a touchdown because Gordon was past the defender, the ball fell to the ground.
"I thought it was a great throw," offensive coordinator Norv Turner said. "Just a little bit of miscommunication. I don’t think Josh thought he was going to throw it nearly that fast, and couldn’t find the ball."
Campbell’s next throw was also dropped (by Davone Bess), and it would have been an 11-or 12-yard gain on first down.
It’s convenient to say Campbell started slow. But had Gordon seen his first pass, and had Bess caught the first pass thrown his way, that slow start would have looked a lot different.
"I thought he (Campbell) was ready to go and he was ready to start fast," Turner said.