New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns: Stopping Josh Gordon


Dec 8, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) warms up before the start of the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The “Road to MetLife Stadium” may be over for the Browns and Jets, but they still have a game to play on Sunday afternoon. From MetLife stadium, these two teams will clash, with kickoff set for 1 PM. Two teams playing for pride, and looking ahead to next year will do battle.

So, we look ahead to the game. Remember when the rumor was out there that Josh Gordon could be had in a trade? Well, any team that considered it must be kicking themselves for not bringing him on to their teams, because this kid is the new star in town, taking the league by storm.

He is leading the league in receiving with 1.467 yards, with 649 of those yards coming from weeks 12-14. Needless to say, he is a guy that needs to be game planned for, and the Jets, this week, are no exception.

Josh Gordon will be tough to stop, but it can be done.

After watching film on this young man, one thing becomes clear. People do not play press coverage against this guy. They give him a lot of respect, based on his speed, and rightly so. Josh is making a season out of leaving defenders in his dust after the catch. Against the Jaguars, he simply ran guys off and got them to do a lot of backpedaling.

Against the Patriots, he used that respect in this fashion:

See? They ran him on a lot of crossing patterns in this one. Nobody was close enough to him to chip him as he broke, so he would come across the formation, make the catch, and already have a full head of steam. It worked to perfection as he averaged over 21 yards per catch in the Patriots game.

Take a look at the respect shown during the Jaguars game. This is from early in the game, just after the snap of a play that is heading Josh’s way:

Right from the snap, the defensive back is already backpedaling. It gives Gordon so much room he can do whatever he likes.

What are the Jets to do? The first thing is, as we say all the time, they MUST play press coverage. Josh Gordon can not get off the line with a free release even one time if the Jets are going to be successful. They must use the five yard cushion to their advantage.

Antonio Cromartie, who likely will be guarding Gordon, must use his hands. Press him, and do not release until the five yards are gone. If he is running a crossing pattern, a linebacker must take a shot at him as he goes by. Press him early and often.

The other solution? TACKLE. We have had some trouble with that lately. If he does make the catch, tackle Gordon immediately.

Can the Jets do it? We will see soon enough.