The one illogical fact that continues to follow Josh Gordon as he has huge game after huge game is this: Teams continue to cover him man-to-man.
Gordon admitted Wednesday that New England basically assigned Aqib Talib to him.
And Talib, as is his wont, did a lot of yapping during the game. The result: Gordon had the best game by a receiver against New England this season.
“He definitely talked a lot like I expected him to,” Gordon said. “We exchanged some words, but you know I think the plays spoke for themselves a lot more.”
Gordon finished with seven catches for 151 yards and an eye-popping 80-yard touchdown. But he talked about it as if he had just cleaned his glass table.
“Because I feel as though there’s a lot more to come out of it I haven’t gotten yet,” Gordon said. “I haven’t reached where I’m trying to go and I try to stay humble and that’s really just my personality through and through.”
It seemed as if Gordon meant it when he said he hadn’t thought about the four-game NFL record of 744 receiving yards. In interviews, he’s accessible, polite, cordial, not expansive but honest.
Asked if he’s playing as well as any receiver now, he said: “I hope I am.”
Gordon has caught the attention of other players, one of whom is Brandon Marshall of the Bears. Marshall has dealt with borderline personality disorder in his life, and has dedicated himself to helping others deal with mental health issues.
He said seeing that Gordon “gets it” after his problems in college (he went to three schools and failed two drug tests) is what is most impressive.
“We all know that what you do off the field affects you on,” Marshall said. “So if he can continue to grow as a man and as a teammate, the sky is the limit for this kid.”
If a guy who leads the league in receiving yards (1,400) and average yards per game (127.3) hasn’t hit his limit yet, it’s a tad scary. Yet Gordon is 22, and he probably will improve.
But Gordon was the clear winner Sunday. Besides the catches, yards and touchdown, Gordon forced Talib into three penalties (one was declined).
“It didn’t work too good for them,” Gordon said of the decision to go man.
The marvel is teams have yet to double-team Gordon, to flat out say: We are not going to let this beat us one-on-one.
When will it happen?
“Hopefully no time this season,” Gordon said.
“I don’t know man,” cornerback Joe Haden said. “They gotta ... I don’t know ... they gotta start doing something.”