If you told me or anyone else who watches football back in 2014 that Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, and Julian Edelman would be catching passes from Tom Brady 5 years from now, I would have personally walked you into the nearest mental hospital. But this was the case during September of 2019. This is the story of the meteoric rise and fall of the Patriots WR corps.
Julian Edelman, one of the greatest Patriot WRs of all time, has been a mainstay since his drafting in 2009. Coming off of his Super Bowl LIII MVP performance for the ages, he came into the campaign as the WR1 until the offseason’s biggest circus show came to a close out in Oakland and arrived in Foxboro, MA.
Antonio Brown. The wild ride he went on since the end of Super Bowl 53 went from trash talking his teammates, getting traded, arguments about everything and nothing and then being signed by the defending champs. Brown’s presence on the field was probably the biggest threat Brady’s has had since Randy Moss (2007-2010). In his 1 game as a Patriot, he caught a couple of balls, including a TD over former Patriot Jomal Wiltz and was cut after 11 days after accusations of sexual assault.
Josh Gordon, the freak athlete who has had his fair share of off the field issues was finally reinstated before the season and looking promising after catching the first New England score of the year against Pittsburgh. After an injury on Thursday Night against the New York football Giants, he was cut, never to play in New England again.
Last but not least, we have the Super Bowl winning wideout Demaryius Thomas. After being signed last offseason, he broke out for a 2 score game in the final preseason matchup against the NY Giants. After his release and re-signing, he was eventually traded to the Jets, ending his time with Tom Brady and Co.
All in all, the Patriots had a lethal group of pass catchers to start off the 100th season of the NFL and only Julian Edelman lasted more than half the year. And just for fun, here are all of their combined stats from the 2014 season.
546 Targets, 356 Catches, 4,592 Yards, 28 Touchdowns. That’s a lot of firepower.
Written by Ethan Hurwitz of @gillettenation on Instagram and @gillettenation_ on Twitter.