Josh Gordon has been the New England Patriots' best wide receiver this season, so it was strange, to say the least, that he wasn't on the field for the final play of Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Patriots faced a 4th-and-15 from the 20-yard line with 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. They didn't have any timeouts, either. Brady took the snap and fired a pass down the middle of the field into the end zone, but Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski couldn't catch the ball before it dropped to the ground.
Gordon's absence from the play didn't make much sense, and Brady was asked about it during his weekly Monday morning radio interview on WEEI's "Mut and Callahan."
"I don't think there's anything in particular," Brady said. "Those guys were running a lot of downfield throws, and Josh is kind of our downfield receiver, so maybe they just subbed him at the last minute. I'm not sure."
Cordarrelle Patterson was subbed in for Gordon on the last play. Gordon is a big, physical wide receiver who is capable of making tough catches in traffic, which make him the ideal target for the situation the Patriots faced on the final play.
You need to have your best players on the field when the game is on the line, and Gordon certainly qualifies as that type of player for the Pats. What's more concerning is that New England has lost back-to-back games in part because of poor coaching decisions, which rarely happens under Bill Belichick.
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