Browns: Gordon's return bolsters options
The Cleveland Browns have forced their way into the playoff picture with a 6-4 record in the competitive AFC North, and have done so by combining strong defensive play with steady offensive production. The return of star play-making wide receiver Josh Gordon should give their offense an added dimension.
Speedy receivers Taylor Gabriel and Andrew Hawkins lead the team with an impressive 2.38 and 2.37 Yards Per Route Run (YPRR), respectively, ranking for 14th and 15th among wide receivers. Last year, Gordon was third in the league with 2.68 Yards Per Route Run, giving the Browns an even more dynamic weapon at the receiver position.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer has gained the second most yards in the league (806) on passes that travel 20 yards or more, a tactic that is unlikely to change with Gordon in the team. In 2013 Gordon caught 15 such passes for 511 yards (fourth most in the league) and six touchdowns yards.
Gordon should immediately become the team’s number one receiver, freeing Hawkins to play out of the slot more often, and complementing Gabriel, tight end Jordan Cameron, and the rest of the Browns’ receiving corps.