While the Kansas City Chiefs are 7-0 largely on the back of an elite-level defense that rivals some of the finer units from recent NFL seasons, some players have still been able to make an impact. Chiefs fans will likely remember some memorable performances in recent weeks from opposing wide receivers able to get open or generate yardage after the catch despite the presence of a strong secondary.
This week, Chiefs fans might want to gear up for the possibility of another strong performance, this time from Josh Gordon. The Browns wide receiver is on a tear after missing the first two games of the season with 27 catches for 450 receiving yards. That's 90 yards/game which places him fourth in the NFL.
Gordon is also a strong playmaker at the position with a strong average of 16.7 yards per catch. Gordon is ranked 9th in the NFL in the category and that's with Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer under center. Last year he finished with 16.1 yards per catch, good for 8th overall in 2012. In short, Gordon is an impact wide receiver who can stretch the play.
The Chiefs have had trouble with top flight receivers so far this season. Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys had 9 catches for 141 yards and one touchdown. Victor Cruz had 10 catches for 164 yards and one touchdown. DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson both had long catches and decent overall numbers for the Texans last Sunday.
The man delivering the ball for the Browns this week is Jason Campbell, a solid back-up quarterback for sure but no one will confuse him with Otto Graham. Yet Campbell might target Gordon more against the Chiefs than other weeks. The reason: the upcoming NFL trade deadline.
With the trade deadline looming on October 29, the Browns get one more chance to showcase their wide receiver off to the highest bidder. Adam Schefter reported that at least two teams have made standing offers for Gordon's services, which means they're likely to bid against each other if a.) they become more desperate at the position, or b.) Gordon looks really good once again. The Browns have full control of the latter.
Thus Gordon is likely to be targeted early and often by Campbell, not only for his natural ability to impact the game, but because if Cleveland can position themselves for a better return in a potential deal, they're going to do so. Enhancing Gordon's already-solid stock (off-the-field problems notwithstanding) makes sense for a team that's already shown they're willing to deal for future assets.