New England Patriots

By Ty Anderson,

If the Patriots needed some kind of reassurance after a trade deadline that came and went without the big time wideout Bill Belichick reportedly sought landing in New England, Josh Gordon delivered it by way of a five-catch, 130-yard night.

One that saw the ultra-talented receiver dislocate a finger, too. Not that the stat line would have indicated such pains.

“Just like a freak accident – nothing too crazy,” Gordon began when asked about his injury. “But, after one of the slant routes, I think some pressure fell on it and it dislocated, so I popped it back into place a couple times throughout the rest of the game.

Busted finger or not, it was on a 55-yard touchdown grab (the longest of Gordon’s polarizing career), that Gordon truly broke this one open for Tom Brady and the Patriots in what finished as a 31-17 final at Gillette Stadium.

“Usually it goes to [Julian Edelman] and the corner just flew up on the fake,” Brady said of the touchdown. “I just saw Josh, so I threw it and Julian thought I missed him, and Josh made a great catch and run. It was a big play in the game.

“We needed it, a big play like that, and they got aggressive. We had some big plays tonight. We didn’t have like the 4-yard, 7-yard first down. It was a lot of big plays, which they took some chances, we took some chances and we came out ahead.”

To make the play complete, Gordon by all means effortlessly brushed off the Packers’ Tramon Williams and his attempted arm-tackle before taking it to the house without a Packer defender coming even close to catching him on the way there.

“They dropped back into a zone, somebody just forgot to cover me,” Gordon said of the sequence. “[I] was able to idle and Tom saw it, we all saw it and then just had to make a break on the ball and then try to finish the play after that.”

By now, it’s clear that the play-action slant has become nearly automatic between Brady and Gordon, but the duo is also finding a way to succeed with No. 10’s ability to leap up and catch jump balls, giving Brady a lengthy, high-rising talent he’s seldom had in recent memory. And with the success for Brady to look at such plays as a viable option.

“I love it. We talk about it every week in practice. He enjoys doing it, I enjoy doing it. I let him know, ‘If you can get anywhere in the vicinity, I’m going to try to make a play on it and make a good effort to try to go and get it,'” Gordon said of the jump balls. “We missed one of them – I was out of bounds – but it’s great that he has a certain amount of trust in me to put it in my direction. And, I just want to come down and make a play on it, so it was awesome to have it done.”

As for the finger, the 6-foot-3 Gordon assured everybody after the loss that it’s “fine.”

Just like the club’s wide receiver depth.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.