All Aqib Talib was missing in his life was a second-year receiver from the 4-8 Browns bragging that he’ll outplay him when the two meet up this Sunday in Foxboro. Well, now he’s got it.
Cleveland’s Josh Gordon exploded for his second straight 200-yard receiving game last week, a highlight reel-filled performance against the Jaguars that included a 95-yard scoring bolt and a career-high 261 yards on the day. Gordon now has 1,249 yards this season and seven touchdowns, and Talib is expected to cover him when the two teams tussle this Sunday.
Gordon sounds like he already knows how the matchup will play out.
“I’m pretty sure he’ll make some plays, but I’m definitely going to make more plays,” Gordon told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
Gordon paid Talib some compliments but also provided some fodder.
“NFL cornerback is a hard position to play, and he’s doing a great job right now for that defense,” Gordon said. “He’s a real physical, scrappy player. But I’m going to come out there and do the same, go out there and make plays myself and try to make sure that nobody can stop me.”
Gordon, who was suspended two games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy this season, is within 41 yards of the Browns’ single-season receiving record of 1,289, set by Braylon Edwards in 2007. Talib has praised Gordon this week, putting him in the same class as Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson.
Talib is already battling a hip ailment this season that has limited his ability to do his main job, which is defending opponents’ elite receivers one-on-one. In terms of who’s setting themselves up for success with pregame comments, though, Talib should already have an edge.
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