Over the next few weeks I will be giving my reasons why it is great to be a fan of each NFL team. Each week I will cover three teams (increasing to four for the final two weeks) ending the week of the NFL Draft. Starting at the top of the draft order (Houston Texans) and ending with the Super Bowl champs (Seattle Seahawks).
Last week I went over why it was great to be a Texan, Redskin or Jaguars fan. This week we are looking at why it’s great to be a: Cleveland Browns fan, Oakland Raiders fan or Atlanta Falcons fan.
Over the last seven weeks of the NFL season arguably the most electric player in all of the NFL was wearing a Brown’s uniform. Josh Gordon racked up 1,020 yards in that seven week span and ended the season as the leading receiver in all of the NFL with 1,646 yards.
Take a second to think about that Browns fans, Josh Gordon had more yards than Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall and your in state rival A.J. Greene. Not only did he lead the NFL in receiving yards he led convincingly. Gordon had 147 yards more than second place, Antonio Brown, and to make this feat even more impressive Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the season.
If Josh Gordon could have gained 117 yards in those two games, Gordon’s season average, he would have finished with a staggering 1,881 yards. For those of you wondering, that total would have been more than Jerry Rice ever had in a single season, and would have put him second in NFL history behind only Calvin Johnson for most yards in a season.
To top off this feat Josh Gordon accomplished all this while catching passes from three different quarterbacks throughout the year, all of whom are nowhere near Pro Bowl quality. No matter how you look at Gordon’s season you have to admit he is for real, and the best part about it is he’s only entering his third season as a pro and is 22 years old. Add on to that fact that Jordan Cameron proved he could be a threat as well in the passing game and the Brown’s have some nice building blocks, oh and you are winning that Trent Richardson trade with the Colt’s… so far.
Enjoy it Cleveland you have one of the brightest stars in the NFL on your team, when was the last time you’ve been able to say that?
The NFL Draft Class:
I know Raider fans! It’s been a rough time to be a cheer on the black and silver, and I know this looks like one of the weaker reasons it’s good to be a fan, but hear me out.
Undoubtedly the biggest need for the Raiders is a decent quarterback and luckily this year’s draft class looks to have a bunch of good QB’s. With many draft experts projecting four or more QBs drafted in the top 10 the Oakland Raiders could easily get in on the action.
Even if the Texans, Browns and Jaguars (I am assuming the Rams aren’t in the market for a QB) take a QB one of the top four QBs – Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Derrick Carr and Johnny Manziel – will still be available and worth the fifth overall pick. Meaning the Raiders could easily be picking the QB of the future come may, and rumblings around the NFL that QB’s could take a little bit of a tumble the Raiders could be getting a top 3 QB.
If the Texans decide to pass on a QB at the top of the draft (which I believe they will) that means the Raiders will have their pick between two of the best QB’s in this year’s draft class. Getting decent starting QB play will go a long way in helping to turn this storied franchise around.
The Raiders are in a perfect position to come out of this draft with the QB of the future, and he has some nice WRs in Rod Streater and Denarius Moore to throw to. If the Raiders can finally get a QB the turnaround won’t be as slow as many believe.
Get excited for May Raider’s fans you could be watching the future start to unfold right before your eyes.
Julio Jones and Injuries:
Prior to Julio Jones’s injury last year he was leading the NFL in receiving yards and it was looking as though he was going to take that next step into greatness. Unfortunately we were all robbed of that thanks to a foot injury, but that doesn’t change anything. Julio Jones is a tough player and I fully expect him to recover completely from his injury and pick up right where he left off.
Jones’s injury happened five games into the season meaning he will have more than enough time to recover and get fully healthy. With that amount of recovery time and Jone’s talent there is no reason to not expect him to take the next step in his career. Look for Jones to again be leading the NFL in receiving yards and to start to be mentioned as one of the top WR in the NFL.
Jones won’t be the only player returning to at full health for the Falcons next year. Both Stevan Jackson and Roddy White missed time last year due to injury. Even though both players are older in age losing both players to injury severely hurt the Falcons last year, but their loss also allowed for players like Harry Douglas and Jacquizz Rodgers to get increased playing time and to grow as players. Last year may have been tough as a Flacons fan, but it could possibly be a blessing in disguise.
The core group of players that went 13-3 in 2012 are still on the team and now younger players who were forced into action because of injury can now provide added depth. Not only that but the Falcons currently sit at 6th in the NFL draft and are in prime position to draft an elite player on either side of the ball.
I know a 4-12 season stings, but if the Falcons walk away with Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Black and return all their players healthy, Falcons fans could be looking at the 2013 season as the season that helped build a franchise.
See there is always something to be excited about no matter what team you are a fan of. Come back next week when I will be covering the Buccaneers, Vikings and Bills. Yes Browns fan’s there is hope!
Are you excited to be a fan of one of these teams? Is all hope lost? Will any of these three teams turn it around and make the playoffs next year? Let me know what you think below.
See you next Monday!