Josh Gordon impact: Here's how much better the Patriots will be if troubled WR is merely good
SportsLine's Stephen Oh crunched the numbers to project just how much Gordon boosts his new team's win total
After the Patriots for Josh Gordon on Monday, people started wondering: Will he be the next Randy Moss in New England? Or will he be more like Chad Johnson? Obviously giving Tom Brady a weapon like Gordon can make things very difficult on defenses, but Gordon has played in only 11 NFL games since his breakout 2013 season while battling substance-abuse issues. That's certainly concerning,
According to SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, Gordon could be a big difference-maker for the Patriots this season. Oh projects that if Gordon is "good" (not 2013 "good," just healthy and contributing), the Patriots' win total moves to 12.1 from 11.2, putting them at first in the AFC. However, in the playoffs is where Gordon can make a real difference. If Gordon is good, the Patriots go to a 41.9 percent chance to win the AFC, up 12.8 percent from the 29.1 percent they're forecasted at currently. Their Super Bowl chances jump up 27.2 percent from 16.9 percent.
As for Gordon's personal numbers, expectations are still high for the troubled wideout over the season's remaining 14 games. Gordon's touchdown over/under is 7.5, while his over/under for receiving yards is 875.5. That's a lot to expect for a guy who has missed 41 of a possible 98 games since entering the league in 2012 . It's the equivalent of a 50/50 -- he'll either boom or bust in New England. He's being given a cushion for his first week against the Lions when he'll undoubtedly be learning a Patriots offense that's very difficult to grasp, however. His line is at 4.5 catches and 55.5 yards.
Gordon's success is in his own hands, but the Patriots would certainly benefit hugely from a big season from him. With Julian Edelman returning in Week 5, the wide receiver position has the potential to make a massive jump for the Pats. Gordon's expectations may seem high, but that's what happens when Brady is throwing you the ball. Now Gordon needs to make the most of it.
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