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Seahawks: What to expect from Josh Gordon if he makes his debut against the 49ers

Josh Gordon, Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks made a very intriguing in-season pickup during Week 9. Wide receiver Josh Gordon, formerly of the New England Patriots, joined the Seahawks after being waived. The roster decision by the Patriots was a bit of a puzzling one, as Gordon remains a high-level contributor. The troubled wide receiver will make his debut for Seattle in Week 10 when the Seahawks face the San Francisco 49ers.

Gordon could not have asked for a worse matchup for his first game in Seattle. The 49ers have been dominant on defense, ranking first in the NFL against the pass. San Francisco only allows 138 passing yards per game, a ridiculously low total. The good news is that the Niners are a team that typically plays in zone coverage, making things a little easier on Gordon. Without a tough cover cornerback following him around, the former Patriot should be able to find a little bit of breathing room.

The bad news for Gordon is far more than the good. The Niners field a nasty pass-rushing group that should harass Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson all night long. Wilson is fantastic under pressure, but chemistry plays a big part in the passing game when pressure is factored in. After only a week of practice with his new team, it would be surprising if Gordon and Wilson have developed any rapport. Seattle’s biggest offensive plays typically come with Wilson out of the pocket, but don’t expect Gordon to contribute in that phase.

Something that the dynamic pass-catcher does have going for him is his fellow receivers. This may not sound like much, but it’s extremely important. Tyler Lockett has been a deadly deep threat for the last two seasons and demands attention. DK Metcalf has been surprisingly efficient as a rookie, contributing five touchdown catches. Both of these guys are big-play threats that the Niners will need to pay attention to. This will likely leave Gordon as the odd man out, as the Niners will be focused on shutting down the other Seattle pass-catchers. Obviously, that doesn’t mean Gordon is due for a big day, but it does make the sledding a little bit easier.

It’s hard to expect much from Gordon in week 10. Facing a defense as elite as the Niners are is never an easy task, and neither is joining a new team. These two factors combine to make Gordon have a forgettable week. Any more than 50 receiving yards would be a pleasant surprise.