Thursday, December 05, 2013

FirstStopFantasy,com: CLEVELAND BROWNS CAN TAKE A POSITIVE STEP FORWARD IN MATCHUP VS NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

by Hal Bent
The Cleveland Browns watched their post-season hopes disappear on another Sunday afternoon of turnovers and a waste of a record-setting performance from wide receiver Josh Gordon. Despite a merry-go-round of quarterbacks, a trade of 2012 number three overall first-round draft pick Trent Richardson, and a league worst two rushing touchdowns from an impotent running game, the Browns had been able to stay competitive most of the year due to Gordon’s fantastic and productive season.

Despite the quarterback, wide receiver Josh Gordon has produced since returning from his suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy in week three. Despite playing two fewer games, Gordon’s record-setting back-to-back 200+ yard games finds him second in receiving yards to Detroit’s Calvin Johnson.  Averaging a staggering 19.5 yards per reception, Gordon is now averaging a league-leading 124.9 yards per game. Whether it Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden (again), Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden (due to no other healthy options), or whoever may be playing quarterback this week, there is no doubt that the Browns’ opponent on Sunday will be focusing their resources on Gordon.

For the 4-8 Browns, that opponent is no other than Bill Belichick and the 9-3 New England Patriots. Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner is considered one of the most innovative offense innovators in the NFL. His work this season to take advantage of the skills of wide receiver Josh Gordon with the motley crew of quarterbacks this season has been masterful.  This week should be an entertaining matchup as offensive genius Turner matches up with defensive guru Belichick once again.

The Browns face a tough task on Sunday against a Patriots team which is an amazing 46-6 in December since 2001.  Once again, the Patriots are positioning themselves for a post-season run like years past and the Browns are in position to slow them down and make a statement win to kick off a strong final quarter of the season and carry momentum into 2014. Of course, that is probably easier said than done. Click here for much more: http://firststopfantasy.com/nfl-teams/cleveland-browns/cleveland-browns-can-take-a-positive-step-forward-in-matchup-vs-new-england-patriots/

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