Remembering what Josh Gordon brought to Patriots

December 20, 2018 - 1:00 pm

By Evan Marinofsky

On Twitter Thursday morning, Patriots newfound diamond-in-the-rough wide receiver Josh Gordon announced he's stepping away from the team to focus on his mental health.

NFL Media's Tom Pellissero is also reported he's facing another indefinite suspension for violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy.

Although Gordon's tenure in New England was short-lived (just over three months), Gordon did have a few moments in the sun for the team that looked to finally revitalize his career.

Gordon ends his time in New England with a total of 40 receptions for 720 yards and three touchdowns. Even more impressive was his ability to come in and gain Tom Brady's trust to be his No. 2 receiver.

At any rate, here are the top 5 moments from Gordon's time with the Patriots.

5. Featured on Brady's Instagram

It feels as though for anybody on the offensive side of things, your true initiation into the Patriots family is getting featured on Brady's Instagram page.

For Gordon, that amazing day came on October 13 when a picture of him catching a touchdown was edited to say "Attack" above it. He'd previously been featured in Brady's postgame Instagram video after their 38-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts, but this was his first picture.


A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

It showed that Gordon was really starting to fit into the offense and most importantly, he was gaining Brady's trust very quickly.

4. Touchdown vs Minnesota (Week 13)

Gordon had three touchdowns in New England and this was the third. Even though it only ranks fourth on this list, it was still a very important one.

With 42 seconds left in the third quarter, the game was tied up at 10 and the Patriots offense was having a really tough time finding any rhythm. That was the case until Brady avoided pressure on both sides, stepped up, and delivered a dime up the middle to Gordon. Gordon had a clear route to the end zone and took it to make it 17-10.

That is the play many regard as the turning point in one of the best Patriots victories all season, as the Pats went on to win 24-10.

After scoring, Gordon went and gave the ball to a fan behind the end zone and dapped up another.

It seemed as though everything was coming up Gordon.

3. 100 yards receiving in Chicago (Week 7)

Despite not being able to find the end zone, Gordon was the Patriots' most important player in their 38-31 win over the Chicago Bears. Gordon finished the day with 100 yards off of only four receptions.

His best play of the day came on a 55-yard play that saw Brady throw one up the middle to Gordon who evaded the defender covering him and then spun off another tackle. Gordon ran up the middle for some time and then appeared to get tired and slow down as two Bears brought him down within inches of the goal line.

That run by Gordon eventually led to a Patriots touchdown, which at the time was incredibly important as it was the fourth quarter and the score was 31-24 against a very good Bears team.

His most important play of the day came with 6:47 remaining in the second quarter with the Pats down 17-14. On 4th and 1, Brady threw one up for Gordon in one-on-one coverage and he somehow came down with the ball. When he came down, his helmet slammed on the ground and came flying off, signifying just how amazing a play it was.

The decision to go to Gordon on such a pivotal play showed just how much Brady was beginning to trust the receiver in only his fourth game with the Pats.

2. Touchdown and 130 yards vs Green Bay (Week 9)

Gordon's game against the Green Bay Packers was his best game as a Patriot. He turned in a 130-yard effort on only five receptions.

His best play of the night came on his 55-yard touchdown with 7:30 to go in the fourth quarter. At the time, it was only a one-score game and this was the dagger that killed the Packers.

Gordon's ability to evade the defender coming up behind him and take it to the house was almost as impressive as him even getting the ball in the first place. This was the infamous TD where Bill Belichick asked Brady on the sidelines after if Gordon was his intended receiver.

Julian Edelman even jumped for it.

1. First Patriots TD vs Indianapolis (Week 5)

How could this not be number 1?

In Gordon's second game as a Patriot, Brady trusted him enough to receive a pass in the end zone. And this wasn't just any pass -- this was Brady's 500th touchdown pass.

With 9:31 to go in the fourth quarter and the Patriots only ahead of the Indianapolis Colts by a score, Brady seemed to hold the ball for an eternity before he released what initially looked like a hopeless chuck towards the goal line.

But as the camera followed the ball's path toward its intended receiver, it no longer looked so hopeless as Gordon reached out and grabbed it between two defenders to come down with his first TD as a Patriot.

The logistics of the TD were important as it put the Patriots up by two touchdowns and pretty much ended the Colts' chances at a win

But what was most significant was Gordon's celebration afterwards.

After hugging Chris Hogan, he waited a few seconds to pick the right spot to spike the football. Once the ball was spiked, he shot his arms into the air as Gillette Stadium exploded and his teammates all came in to jump on him.

It really looked as though Gordon was a changed man and this was his turning point. He had finally found his place.

Related: Cordarrelle Patterson, Josh Gordon missing from start of Patriots practice Thursday