By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It was not until his 30th offensive snap of the day — and until the third quarter of a then-tied game between the Patriots and Vikings — that Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon saw his first target come his way. Gordon hauled it in and turned the grab into a 24-yard grab, and finished the drive with a second 24-yard grab for his fourth touchdown in a Patriots uniform.
Given the downright easy nature of Gordon’s catches on a day that saw him finish with three catches on as many targets for 58 yards in all, it was enough to make you wonder why Gordon was not involved in the gameplan sooner.
That is, of course, unless you were the 27-year-old Gordon himself, who simply took a patient approach to the field.
“I just had to be patient,” Gordon said of his seemingly late start in the win. “I think that’s just how the flow of the game was going. We all let it play itself out. It was great to just get an opportunity, make a play and the rest of it was just fun.
“I didn’t really question the gameplan, I just went along with it. It seemed to work in our favor, and the coaches, my trust is in the coaches. I think they trust me. So, it worked out for us.”
Of course, Gordon, who caught the touchdown pass that tied Brady with Brett Favre for the third-most in league history, was not alone when it came to a seemingly noticeable drop in targets or direct involvement in the offense. In fact, it was a winning effort that saw rushes from seven different Patriots, catches from eight different Pats, and ended with just two Patriots (Julian Edelman and James White) targeted five or more times in an air attack that overwhelmed an undermanned Viking D.
“Seven guys running, eight guys catching – that makes it hard for them to defend us,” Brady noted after the victory, his team’s sixth in as many home games this season. “Good to have that happen and hopefully we can keep it going.”
But despite the Patriot offense being at its most efficient when the Patriots spread the wealth, Brady made it clear he still sticks to the fail-proof method: get the ball to the most open player on the field at any given moment.
“It’s just sometimes it just goes to different guys,” Brady offered. “Sometimes more Julian [Edelman], Josh [Gordon], a lot of guys to get the ball too, so it’s just whoever’s open usually gets it. I’m trying to find the most open guy.”
Gordon, meanwhile, continued to praise his move from the Browns to the Patriots.
“It felt like home a long time ago,” Gordon, now in his 10th week with the Patriots, said of his comfort with the Patriots organization. “The atmosphere is very welcoming. It took me a little bit to get acclimated to the area. Other than that, it’s been pretty smooth so far, and that’s due in part to the facility, the organization, just everybody helping me along the way.”