Josh Gordon (not Gronk) is Tom Brady's new “go-to guy,” Chris Simms says


If we told you three months ago that Josh Gordon would be a more productive New England Patriots pass-catcher than Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, you would have called us crazy.

And you may still call Chris Simms crazy for taking things one step further Friday morning on NBC Sports' "Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio" radio show.

"I've written this in my notes as I've watched Patriots film on a weekly basis: Josh Gordon is the go-to guy for Brady, which I think says a lot," Simms said. "I think in a big moment he looks at Josh Gordon one, Gronkowski two and Edelman three."

So, Simms is saying Brady trusts a guy who showed up 10 weeks ago more than an All-Pro tight who's been his teammate for eight-plus seasons? Basically.

"It's been a long time that it's been in that pecking order, that somebody's overtaken Rob Gronkowski," Simms added. "Because back in the old days, it didn't matter. If it was triple coverage and it was a big moment, Brady was going to stare him down and maybe jam it in there somehow, no matter what the coverage or the situation dictated." 

Simms' take is a hot one, but it's not without merit. Gordon actually leads the Patriots with 701 receiving yards this season despite playing in just 10 games. And while Gronkowski -- who has missed four games due to injury -- has more catches (43), Brady has targeted Gordon 66 times to the tight end's 62.

Gordon is making the most of those targets, too: He leads the entire NFL in yards per catch (18.0) since he joined the Patriots in Week 4. Brady has had no problem throwing deep balls to the 27-year-old veteran in double- or triple-coverage and often is his first read on passing plays.

That's pretty incredible considering Gordon looked like a lost cause on the Cleveland Browns earlier this season. Gronkowski and Edelman still are integral parts of New England's offense -- Edelman outpaces them both with 81 targets -- but Gordon very much has earned Brady's trust.

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