New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon is looking forward to playing in meaningful games the final month of the NFL season.
Meaningful December football games are nothing new for the New England Patriots. They have won the AFC East 15 of the last 17 seasons. The only two years they did not win the division were the only two years they did not qualify for the postseason.
Despite not making the postseason those years, they still won 11 and nine games in those seasons. The 11-win season came without Tom Brady, as Matt Cassel was under center after Brady was injured in the season opener.
This kind of sustained success is rare in any sport. New England has been dominant for almost two decades, but other teams in the NFL aren’t so lucky. One of those teams is the Cleveland Browns.
In the same 17 year time period, the Browns have qualified for the postseason once. They have finished outside of the cellar in the AFC North only three times during that stretch of time.
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Just think about that for a second. The Patriots have as many Super Bowl losses, and two more Super Bowl wins than the Browns have seasons finishing outside of last in their division in the past 17 years.
That is a big reason that Josh Gordon is so excited about what is ahead for the Patriots.
Gordon spent the first seven seasons of his NFL career with the Browns. He had plenty of ups and downs, as off-field issues kept him off the field. With his chances in Cleveland exhausted, the Patriots took a chance on the troubled yet talented receiver, acquiring him via trade.
Gordon has flashed some of that outstanding talent with the Patriots. He has brought a different dimension to the New England offense, giving them a legitimate threat on the outside to help open things up for Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski in the middle.
Playing meaningful games this deep into the season is not something Gordon has done in his NFL career previously. However, he will do it this season with the Patriots, and he is excited about it.
"“It’s different, that’s for sure,” Gordon acknowledged. “It’s exciting. It’s motivational for me and for everybody. I’ve never really got the opportunity before, considering the circumstances. So it’s great to have the opportunity now.”"
With Gordon acclimating himself well into the Patriots’ system, their offense has yet another dangerous weapon for Brady to use. With the running backs getting healthy, the Patriots offense is nearing their healthiest level of the season.
That is bad news for the rest of the NFL, as the Patriots have a top-flight performer at every level of their offense.