Shaughnessy On Josh Gordon: "It's Not A Surprise"

Dan Shaughnessy didn't think Josh Gordon would finish the season, but his suspension is still a blow to the Patriots' playoff hopes

Taz and the Moose
December 21, 2018 - 10:13 am

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The NFL has suspended Josh Gordon indefinitely, leaving the New England Patriots (9-5) without their leading receiver heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

It’s an unfortunate development for the Patriots but hardly surprising.

“I think when they acquired the player, there was the notion this won’t end well and he won’t finish the year,” Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy said on Taz & The Moose. “I think after 11 weeks, you get lulled into forgetting about that, and he’s part of the offense. But then when you hear it, it’s not a surprise.”

Without Gordon, the Patriots’ top pass-catchers are 32-year-old Julian Edelman, running back James White, and Rob Gronkowski, who has three catches or fewer in five of his last six games.

“The weapons aren’t great out there, and they’ve looked stodgy and old the last couple weeks,” Shaughnessy said. “Getting 10 points in Pittsburgh is not much of an achievement. You’re not going to win any games getting 10 points. (Gordon) wasn’t the same guy – it’s hard to say same guy with him because there’s never been a sustained period where he plays every game. But he wasn’t imposing or as athletic or fast as I think four or five years ago, but he was still darn good.”

The Patriots, who have lost five games for the first time since 2009, enter Week 16 as the 3-seed in the AFC.

“Wild Card weekend is not their friend,” Shaughnessy said. “They’ve never gone to a Super Bowl while winning three games to get there – because they don’t have to. They’re always positioned in the cushy AFC East. Most years it’s been two home games and you’re in the Super Bowl, and that’s probably the only way they can get there now. I don't see this team capable of winning a road game in the playoffs.”

The Patriots are 6-0 at home but 3-5 on the road.

“Two of those wins are Jets and Bills, which need to be discounted,” Shaughnessy said. “You’re looking at a team that’s not going to be able to go out and win on the road in the playoffs. They haven’t done that in 11 years – and I don’t see this as the team that’s able to do it.”