Josh Gordon saw daylight and accelerated his speed. DeShone Kizer saw a pocket opening in the Ravens defense that would have made for a pretty nice gain against a stingy Baltimore defense.
The ball went one place. Gordon was headed to another.
"In my head, I was thinking get down the field and try to make a bigger play. The play, it was really on me," Gordon said after Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Ravens. "I should have been settling in the hole for the Cover 2 hole throw. Over the course of the game, I was ready to book it and try to go get as big of a chunk of a play that I can. I had a little miscue right there. That is on me for sure."
Said Kizer: "He had a different mindset at the time. We were able to come off to the sideline and make the proper adjustment. We will continue to move forward on making that adjustment so we make sure that we complete those balls."
The Browns play the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15.
Chemistry between the rookie quarterback and wide receiver was declared a work in progress when Gordon was officially reinstated earlier this month, and it remains that way after three games. Game weeks within the season don't replicate the time wide receivers and quarterbacks get together throughout the offseason and training camp, no matter the number of extra throwing sessions the two have logged in the past few weeks.
Through three games, Gordon has 12 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown, a pace that would clear 1,000 if it stretched over the course of a season. He's been targeted 28 times, but defenses haven't made it easy for Kizer and Gordon to make the kind of easy connection they had on Gordon's first catch of the year, a 9-yard slant on the opening play against the Chargers.
Kizer has thrown for 575 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions in the three games with Gordon.
"I think Josh has had a real impact. I think Josh is doing some good things. It takes more than just Josh," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "It is the offensive line that has to do its part. The quarterback has to do his part. He has to do his part. It is an all-consuming thing, but I think Josh has done some really good things. He has to continue to keep growing and keep working. He has been in this league long enough to see what he needs to do and what he is doing. He will be fine."
Gordon entered a locker room that was already frustrated by the accumulation of losses. Now that he's experienced it firsthand, Gordon knows just how much it would mean to finally end this unspeakably tough stretch for everyone who's been there from the very beginning of it.
"I finally understand it. I finally get it," Gordon said. "That is a tough load to carry through an extensive season. Fighting back injuries, fighting through games, psychologically and physically, that is tough. I get it, and I am here fighting with them. I'm going to going as long as they keep going."