Josh Gordon's day against Pittsburgh

November, 29, 2013
11/29/13
2:00
PM ET
A few thoughts on Josh Gordon’s record-setting day against the Steelers, when he caught 14 passes (to tie Ozzie Newsome) for 237 yards (to break Newsome’s record):
  • Gordon actually hurt his per-catch average that day. He started the game averaging 18.8 yards per reception, and ended it averaging 18.3.
  • He now ranks third in the league in yards per catch among those with 20 or more catches, third among those with 30 or more -- but first among those with 50 or more.
  • The touchdown pass he caught against Pittsburgh was 1 yard on a fade, and it was the first of his career shorter than 20 yards. His previous nine had gone for 33, 74, 62, 39, 20, 44, 37, 47 and 71 yards.
  • There is no debating that many of the yards and catches came after the game was decided. At halfitme, Gordon had five catches, 62 yards. In the fourth quarter, when the game was over and the Steelers were playing softer than your grandmother’s blanket, he had 158.
  • But ... the yards still count, and Gordon did have to make the effort to make the catches and gain the yards. Too, consider that Browns quarterbacks were 14-for-17 for 237 yards and a touchdown throwing to Gordon, and 13-for-35 for 75 yards and an interception throwing to the rest of the team. To say it was meaningless is a bit much, but to say the yards all came at a meaningful point of the game is also inaccurate.
  • That being said, Gordon’s attitude after the game was spot-on, and admirable. He shrugged off the records and said all the right things about how little they meant in a loss.
  • Gordon ranks 27th in the league in receptions with 54 and 14th in targets with 98. But he’s fifth in yards with 988. And he didn’t even play the first two games. Oh ... he's also sixth with yards after catch with 392.
  • He ranks behind only Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones in yards per game, with 109.8.
  • At this pace, Gordon seems nearly assured of breaking the team record for receiving yards in a season held by Braylon Edwards (1,289 yards).
  • If Gordon continues at his present pace, he would actually shatter the record -- with 1,537 yards, with two fewer games played.

This all shows why the Browns gave up a second-round pick a year ago to take Gordon in the supplemental draft. And why the Browns this season were unwilling to trade Gordon without receiving a first-round pick in return. And why teams were calling about Gordon even though he is one slip from a one-year suspension.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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