Josh Gordon and the Cleveland Browns started the season off with a tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers in one of the most entertaining games of Week 1. While neither team picked up the win, many would argue that the Browns won the game simply because they did not lose. That won’t be enough for Hue Jackson or his team, however, and they are hoping to make another statement in Week 2 vs. the New Orleans Saints.
There is no doubt that Gordon is one of the most talented players on the Browns’ roster. Despite that talent, he has struggled to keep his spot in the starting lineup due to a plethora of off the field problems. Most of those problems are due to marijuana usage, which plagued him again this year.
Even though he did not test positive for any substance-abuse issues, Gordon missed a big chunk of time in training camp and preseason action due to a stay at rehab. He felt that he was coming close to making a mistake and sliding back into the lifestyle that has ruined his career to this point, but was able to stop himself before the problem happened.
Unfortunately for Gordon and the Browns, he was not quite ready for a big role in Week 1 against the Steelers. Gordon did not start or receive much playing time, but he was able to make a huge 17-yard touchdown grab late in the game to tie the Steelers at 21-21.
That was the only catch that Gordon made throughout the course of the game, but things are looking up for him heading into Week 2 against the Saints.
Cleveland has already listed Gordon as a starter on their depth chart. That should mean that he will be back to his full workload across from Jarvis Landry. Tyrod Taylor will have more opportunities to make big plays down the field to his talented wide receiver.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 11, 2018
All of that being said, what should the Browns and their fans expect from Gordon in the second game of the season?
Quite simply, fans should be expecting big things from Gordon. He made a major impact in very limited time in Week 1 and there are very few defenders who can stick with him. New Orleans was burnt by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 48 points last week and the Browns are hoping to keep that trend going.
Predicting a player’s performance from a statistical standpoint is never an easy task, but it would be reasonable to expect Gordon to catch around six passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. Gordon could have a much better game than that, but he could also end up struggling a bit if New Orleans gets their defense back on track.
For those who have Gordon in their Fantasy Football league’s, he’s worth a WR3 or FLEX starting spot. Don’t put him at a WR1 or WR2 spot until he can consistently show that he is back.
Cleveland will head into their Week 2 matchup as major underdogs. New Orleans is still considered to be a Super Bowl contender in the NFC and their Week 1 loss is expected to motivate them even more.
Gordon and company will have their work cut out for them, but the Browns should expect their receiver to come back to the starting lineup with a bang.