What does the return of Josh Gordon and others mean for the Patriots?

What does the return of Josh Gordon and others mean for the Patriots?
Reading Time: 3 minutes.

Everyone knows Brady and Belichick could take a team of the 2017 Browns and Philip Rivers’ kids to the Super Bowl. But many fans and analysts were quick to comment on the Pats weakened offence post Gronk’s retirement. Writing them off before a single snap has been played in the 2019 season. However what does the return of Josh Gordon and other WR additions mean for New England as they prepare to make a push for a 4th consecutive Super Bowl appearance? Max Hillman writes.

Josh Gordon – Past the Blunts?

Josh Gordon is undoubtedly a talented player and an asset to any franchise when playing. Brady and Gordon teamed up for 40 receptions, 720 yards and 3 TDs in Gordon’s 11 games with the Pats last season. However several off the field issues have limited his ability to play. Marijuana suspensions and issues along with mental health problems (which the NFL and Patriots have dealt with in a very supportive manner) meant that Gordon has only ever played all 16 games in one season in his career.

At 18 yards per catch, ”Flash” was second only to DeSean Jackson. With two 100+ yard games against the Bears and Packers he showed the value and production seen in his years in Cleveland. At only 28 years old, if utilised correctly he will definitely have a positive impact on the Pats offence. After all having a former Pro Bowler and 1st Team All-Pro can’t be a negative! However this will only be if he can stay away from substances that will limit his playing time. A massive positive however for a team who at one point only had Jakobi Meyers and Phillip Dorsett as healthy receivers.

Sustainability in the depth chart

In a week, SB 53 MVP Julian Edelman was activated following a thumb injury, Josh Gordon was reinstated by the league and four time Pro Bowler Demaryius Thomas came off the injury list after suffering a torn Achilles in last December. Adding this to the hopeful return of 2019 first round pick N’Keal Harry and the pre-season production of Meyers, the Pats WR core that once looked thin as ice is now forming one of the leagues most threatening.

Despite being encouraging in New England, this new found positivity for the Pats offence should be taken with caution. At its best, this core has the talent to make a real push for the championship. However with injury and off the field concerns amongst the players in the depth chart, the offence could drastically change. Causing issues for Brady in one of the worst offences he has ever had to command. This team had only the 17th highest ppg in 2018 (21) and still went all the way. Meaning there can surely only be improvement with upgrades and additions made to the roster. With only Chris Hogan and Cordarelle Patterson departing the franchise in the offseason.

Overall, there is genuine excitement coming out of the Patriots camp about the new look offence for 2019.

With a consistently elite defence, Foxborough could see continued success if the potential of the offence is met. To the dismay of the rest of the AFC East as they try to break the Patriots reign. However, with concerns surrounding the WR’s and without a legitimate replacement for Gronk, a shallow depth chart and a struggle to fill roster spots is possible. Which will be at the back of the minds of those in the Patriots organisation as they prepare for the start of the season.

Whatever occurs, Brady and Belichick will attempt to make it work. It will be an interesting development to monitor as fans of the sport. Get in touch with your thoughts @18hillman!

(image courtesy of weei.radio)

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