What do Gordon’s past receiving numbers mean for the Chiefs?
The Chiefs, obviously, aren’t in need of a leading pass catcher. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are and always have been Mahomes’ bread and butter. However, the remaining cast in Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle have yet to cement themselves as the evident third choice (at least thus far in the season). Though it’s far easier said than done the defensive strategy for any team facing Mahomes and company seems to be based around slowing down Kelce and Hill as much as possible.
Josh Gordon could very well be the antidote to this issue. Though he his 30 years old, he has shown a knack for getting the separation needed to gain targets. Defenders always seem to have their hands full with “Zeus” and “The Cheetah”, which should allow Gordon with opportunities to be the long-awaited third option. Mahomes is about to have a field day. This leads to another point: during Gordon’s best career year in 2013, who was the QB dishing out the rock to him?
Trick question. The 2013 Browns actually saw three different quarterbacks start for them. Jason Campbell started for eight games, Brandon Weeden started for five games and Brian Hoyer started for three games. Their QBRs were, respectively, 43.3, 34.4 and 51.1. But what’s the point? If Gordon saw his best numbers with these less than effective quarterbacks throwing to him, imagine what Mahomes will be able to do for his numbers.
Of course no one should expect Gordon to reach this level of production. He won’t be asked to act as the first or even second option for Mahomes. He will however pose a problem for opposing defenses whose game plan is spent harassing Kelce and Hill. In addition to helping the offense function in general, he could also prove to be a potent threat in the red zone. Standing at 6’3″, he may just be that extra juice needed get the ball into the end zone.
Ultimately, this pick-up by the Chiefs front office is a low-risk, high-reward move that makes sense for both sides. The Chiefs could always use a little extra firepower, especially after their rough start to the season. On the other hand, Josh Gordon could finally put his past behind him and once again prove to be a dangerous receiving threat. Heck, he might even earn himself his first ring in the process.