An injury-ravaged Buffalo Bills secondary will have their work cut out for them tomorrow night against the Cleveland Browns, when they'll try to contain one of the NFL's most dynamic receiving duos so far this season in wideout Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron.
Brian Hoyer is getting a lot of publicity for Cleveland's consecutive wins in the past two weeks, but his production has an awful lot to do with Gordon's return to the lineup following a two-game suspension to start the season. Cameron was already off to a hot start playing with Brandon Weeden - he caught 14 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown in the Browns' first two games - but Gordon's presence has done wonders for him, and for Cleveland's offense as a whole.
In Hoyer's two games as the starting quarterback, he has thrown a whopping 92 passes. 50 of them have traveled in the direction of either Gordon or Cameron. 30 of those were hauled in for 374 yards and four touchdowns. (Two of them were also intercepted by opponents, for the record.)
Cameron has four touchdowns in the last two games - one of them coming from punter Spencer Lanning on a fake field goal - and has 16 receptions for 157 yards, as well, on 23 targets. Gordon has been targeted 28 times, catching 14 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown. Other players factor into Cleveland's passing game - slot receiver Davone Bess and running back Chris Ogbonnaya, chiefly - but there's no doubt that Gordon and Cameron are the go-to guys.
The Bills have struggled mightily with athletes of this caliber through their first four games. The 6'5", 245-pound Cameron is a more explosive athlete than Greg Olsen of Carolina (6'5", 250), who caught seven passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. Not many receivers are as physically imposing as the 6'3", 225-pound Gordon from a size/speed standpoint, but New York's 6'4", 215-pound Stephen Hill (three receptions, 108 yards and a touchdown) and Baltimore's 6'1", 205-pound Torrey Smith (five receptions, 166 yards and a touchdown) are fairly close approximations to what Gordon offers from a skill perspective.
The Bills will be without No. 1 cornerback Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and nickel cornerback Ron Brooks (foot) in Week 5. Jairus Byrd (foot) and Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), two more starters, may not make it back onto the field by tomorrow night, either. Aaron Williams, the cornerback-turned-safety-turned-cornerback again, is likely to play, but is also nursing a bruised back. The likes of Williams, Justin Rogers, Nickell Robey, Da'Norris Searcy and Jim Leonhard will have their work cut out for them trying to cover two of the hottest receivers in pro football.