Josh Gordon: Browns beating Steelers in Week 1 ‘almost a Super Bowl win’
Josh Gordon underscored just how huge Sunday’s Week 1 showdown against the division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers by not only equating an upset to a playoff victory but a championship for the Cleveland Browns.
“That’s the equivalent of making the playoffs here, almost a Super Bowl win,” the Browns wide receiver said this week, via Ohio.com.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who has demonstrated a belief that the organization has undergone significant changes this past offseason, was not inclined to take the importance of Sunday’s game as far as Gordon, though.
“But it’s a huge game for us,” Jackson said. “… We want to get to winning as fast as we can.”
The Browns of course have posted a 1-31 over the past two seasons, going winless in 2017. The onus is on the Browns, boasting far superior talent on paper in 2018 than in past years, to get things started on the right foot and notch a first victory as soon as possible.
However, past history suggests the Browns will have trouble notching a victory in Week 1, due to both the opponent and the team’s struggles in season openers. The Browns have posted a woeful 6-33 record against the Steelers since 1999, which includes a loss in the postseason.
Adding to the notion a Week 1 win will prove difficult is how the Browns franchise have not won a season-opener since 2004 and are 1-18 in such games in the expansion era.
That said, the Steelers will arrive at FirstEnergy Stadium possibly without disgruntled running back Le’Veon Bell, who continues to remain away from the team, something that has plunged the Steelers in disarray on the eve of the 2018 season.
Still, it will be a tall order for the Browns to secure an upset against a Steelers team that has owned them for such a long time, even if the latest line has Cleveland only as 3.5-point underdogs. But Gordon understands all too well how big of a win it would be.