Antonio Brown More Deserving Of MVP Than Ben Roethlisberger

By Matthew Marczi

I was surprised to hear how many people expressed outrage over Ben Roethlisberger being ‘snubbed’ when it came to the team voting Antonio Brown the team MVP for the 2013 season.

Had they forgotten how poorly he took care of the football during the first quarter of this season? There was no bigger contributor to the first month goose egg than Roethlisberger’s lack of discipline with the football during the month of September, so despite how well he may have played since then, it has to be a critical factor when considering a year-long acclamation like this.

On the other hand, Brown has literally been the model of consistency. He and Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon, are attempting to become just the second and third players in the history of the National Football League to finish a season with at least five receptions for 50 yards in every game played.

During that rough first four-game stretch, Roethlisberger attempted 162 passes, completing 103 for 1231 yards and five  touchdowns. On the other hand, he also threw five interceptions. And he fumbled five times. And he lost four of those fumbles.

When your quarterback is turning the ball over multiple times per game with regularity, your team doesn’t have a very good chance of winning. Just ask either of the franchises residing in New York right now.

During that same four-game stretch, Brown caught 32 of Roethlisberger’s 103 completions, or nearly a third. His 412 receiving yards in that span is slightly more than one-yard, while his two touchdowns is obviously more than one-third of five touchdown passes. He also didn’t turn the ball over.

In fact, he hasn’t turned the ball over at all this year, and his only fumble came just last week on a punt return when he was run into by his own teammate—a fumble that he promptly recovered.

On the season, Roethlisberger currently has completed 356 passes on 533 attempts for 4082 yards, 27 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and eight fumbles, losing six of them for a 93.7 quarterback rating.

Brown has 101 receptions—only the second player in team history with triple-digit receptions in a season—for 1412 yards—more than any Steeler player in history—and eight touchdowns, averaging 14 yards per catch.

His 101 catches on 146 targets is good for nearly a 70 percent completion percentage, and that’s only after an unusually low-percentage game in the Green Bay snow, when he caught only six of 13 targets.

27.4 of Roethlisberger’s targets have gone to Brown, yet Brown has 28.4 percent of his completions. His 1412 yards is 34.5 percent of Roethlisberger’s total yardage on the season, and he’s caught 28.6 of his touchdown passes.

Roethlisberger’s quarterback rating when throwing to Brown is 108.1. His rating when not throwing to Brown? On 255 for 387 passing, 2670 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions, it comes out to 92.4. That’s why Brown is the team’s MVP, and that’s without even mentioning his special teams contributions.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • steeltown

    Who was the 1st player in history to have 5catches and 50yds in every?

  • Bill Molinaro

    I agree with the decision to make Brown the MVP of the team. I have stated in another article that I believe Roethlisberger did not play up to the level that some folk think he’s at. He missed quite a few open receivers and at other times failed to see those that were open. It seems that often his mind as to where he is going with the football is determined in the huddle and he doesn’t read the defense. Ben could be as good as any QB in the league if he had more discipline. He is one of the best at avoiding sacks and perhaps with the OL improvement that should occur next season, he will take the time to read and really become the QB that some people think he already is.

  • treeher

    I would guess Jerry Rice.

  • Dorkewicz

    I actually think it was Jimmy Smith back in 2001. I remember it being a receiver that no one ever talks about anymore

  • srdan

    Early in the season. Lately he has been playing at a probowl level.

    A lot of our slow starts in games can be credited to his inaccuracy.

  • srdan

    Him and keenan Mcardell sp? I thought both of their greatness was overshadowed by Jerry Rice. Rightfully so.

  • Shawn S.

    Great article. I guess going out and buying a Brown #84 jersey is a safe bet.

  • CW

    I’d say that part of the issue Big Ben had was the utter disaster the offensive line was after Pouncey got hurt in the Titans game. While he wasn’t consistent and turned the ball over a great deal more than he should have to leave out that the team was in shambles in those four games and was a large part of the reason Big Ben was terrible in the first month misses something.

    Brown might deserve the MVP this year, I do believe Brown does deserve it incidentally, more than Big Ben, but I can understand why people are upset over the decision to go with Brown over Big Ben.

  • CrazyTerry

    I think both are deserving. AB probably gets the nod because of his punt returns duty too. Just as Ben had some bad turnovers in a few games, AB had a few blunders too, the OAK game being the worst where he and Suisham pretty much lost the game for the Steelers with their mistakes alone.

  • Michael Pearce

    Early in the season Ben was virtually running for his life behind the confused offensive line. As soon as there was a little bit of stability and he started running more of the No Huddle he just blew up. This team would not have won 2 games if Ben was not behind the first, second, third and fourth center this year. In spite of that he had maybe his greatest season. Dont think Brown would have caught 100 passes from the backup QB. At worst: Ben should have been Co-MVP. Ben is the leader of this team and held them together even when the ship was sinking. Not any QB would have hit Brown so many times so easily as Ben. Ben has had many great years in the Black and Gold and its just a shame he has not won one MVP award. A real shame.

  • Don

    I think AB is deserving, especially factoring in the punt returns. Although, the drops can be frustrating. Don’t get me wrong. I like him and he’s been fantastic, but it does seem like he drops some easy ones from time to time. Maybe I’m just remembering them with a little more emphasis?

  • AndyR34

    Why in the world would anyone criticize the vote of the players? Other than possibly the coaches…who knows better? Not the idiots in the stands or on the blogs! Why do they think they know better than the players?

  • clifford symonds

    I’m ok with AB winning but to put the first four games on Ben is harsh. Ben is the best player on the team. That OL was just terrible at the time, in fact it may have been the worst four game stretch the Steelers OL has ever put together in 10 yrs or so. QBS tend to get a little to much credit either way. Maybe Ben has to much equity built up with me, and I’m not being objective. Either way both guys are deserving, so congrats to AB. That Miami game though, still tough seeing AB step out of bounds, wow talk about of game of inches.

  • dennisdoubleday

    AB deserves all the recognition they can give him. But, ask yourself, if you had to pick one guy that you could guarantee wouldn’t be out with injury in 2014, who would it be?

    BB is our MVP.

    AB with Gradkowski at QB would have a year similar to the one Larry Fitzgerald had last year when he didn’t have a starting NFL QB throwing to him.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    Guess Matt don’t care about dropped passes by wr’s. Plus 30 plus sacks in the first 6-7 games , didn’t help anyone. Oh well, No big deal, We might get out of this season under 50 sacks for a change.

  • Siggy

    So EVERY turnover is on the QB? Interesting.

    Yeah, AB is the alleged “Team MVP”, but somehow the genius OC that was brought in to replace the reigning coach of the year didn’t bother to have him on the field on their most important down of the season, the 3rd and goal play in Baltimore.

  • Elijah Stevenson

    Jerry rice

  • steeltown

    I think he won it ’09

  • Elijah Stevenson

    No surprise here brown has been more consistent than Ben he rarely drops any balls unlike Sanders and he’s determined to win games. Ben on the other hand cost us our season by not playing up to his potential earlier however I do say that it wasn’t his fault that we lost to Miami. But what frustrates me is he’s playing really well now but in the end it all comes down to did he play like this all season our when we were in desperate situations?

  • Elijah Stevenson

    Y not the QB he holds in to the ball way to long and decides to play for real when he wants to that’s not an MVP player

  • johnhoien

    Ben had a great season. One of his best .. Absolutely. However.. Without AB we would not have had the YAC ( yards after catch) we would not have won a few games.

  • Aric Brown

    Hes def been playing great as of late but continues to miss 3 or 4 throws a game… im fine with either being named MVP… IMO by default the QB is the most valuable player… brown on the other hand is a beast as a WR1 and a force in the return game… how lucky are we to have them both in the prime of their careers

  • Aric Brown

    Browns home jersey was my first nike purchase followed by roethlisbeger throwback… next will be. Leveon Bell away jersey

  • joed32

    So no one here disagrees with Brown as MVP. On the board I frequent almost everyone is on board with it. I wonder where all of the complaints are coming from?

  • Shawn S.

    I’ve got Ben’s home and away, and after this season Brown’s is my next purchase. Bell’s may not be far behind. These are big decisions for Steelers fans!