Once Again, Antonio Brown The Lone Player Who Can Stand Tall

As has so often been the case over the course of the past several years, wide receiver Antonio Brown once again showed that he is often the only consistent piece of the puzzle on the offensive side of the ball for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The All-Pro yesterday limited his tantrums to on-field exploitation of the Jaguars’ defensive backs over the course of accumulating another 10 receptions for 157 yards, which makes it the third game out of five this season in which he has caught at least 10 passes for at least 100 yards.

And those numbers were not charity, either, but rather a process that unfolded over the course of the entire game, which opened things up with a 49-yard reception on a deep pass as the first offensive play of the game for the Steelers.

His second reception of the game was a 15-yarder against Jalen Ramsey, while his third was a screen pass from the Steelers’ own five-yard line on third and 10, which he took for the 10 yards needed for the first down up the right sideline.

On the final drive of the first half, his 23-yard reception put the team in field goal range with time running low, but Ben Roethlisberger could not find him in the end zone two plays later with Ramsey playing him tight and not letting him break to the sideline as was intended.

One of his more overlooked plays of the day went for just four yards, but it came on third and two for a key conversion that led the Steelers to their third field goal, which allowed them to retake the lead at the top of the second half. It was a simply slant screen, but it worked exactly as it was meant to.

Things started to go south at that point, though. Following an incompletion on a deep target later on that drive, the possession ended with an ill-advised throw that Roethlisberger forced to his favorite target on third and goal that was doomed to fall incomplete, simply because it came on a route on the short side of the field that lacked the space to run it.

The next two targets that Roethlisberger threw in Brown’s direction were intercepted and returned for touchdowns, but he had no chance on either of them. The first one was tipped at the line of scrimmage and subtly redirected, but was likely to be intercepted by the linebacker playing in front of Brown regardless. The second interception was a high pass deep down the field.

He added several more catches for short gains later on, as well as a 21-yarder, but over the sequence of three plays, he had a touchdown of 28 yards nullified by a holding penalty on the offensive line and then had his route undercut by the safety for yet another safety. Your playmakers can only make plays when you can get them the ball.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • PaeperCup

    Is there any reason to believe that his “tantrum” was a big reason why he was eyed by Ben so much this week?

    The guy is a monster, so please get him the ball, but do it smartly.

  • Chris92021

    The first play of the game definitely gave that impression. And the subsequent 18 targets confirmed it as far as I am concerned.

  • ThatGuy

    Off subject – but I cannot believe the Steelers open up as only 4 point underdogs to KC.

  • #beatthepats

    Maybe a trip to vegas is in order. I love the steelers but thier defense cannot stop the run.

  • PaeperCup

    I think everyone and their uncle knows the Steelers can’t play any worse, and is much better than what we saw yesterday. Well, almost everyone.

  • Greg Payne

    I’m sending Gatorade coolers to Ben, Bell, and Bryant. Maybe if they practice attacking them they’ll be as efficient as Brown.

  • PapaJuju

    I’m siding with Brown on this one. He seems to be the only one on offense that has any competitive phucking fire.

  • JT

    I think Bell was, and could’ve been more effective, given more/better opportunities. I watch these other teams consistently move the chains with simple and effective dumpoffs to their RBs, and I scratch my head. You don’t need Foster and DD to pull to opposite sides of the field, while JuJu does a summersault in the backfield, to throw a screen 5 yards behind the LOS to Bryant. Dink. Dunk. Get the 26 and 84 with the ball in space and let them do the hard work.

    The play calling and QB have definitely been lacking, which makes us appreciate AB all the more. Bell hasn’t at that level yet, certainty. But you need to feed the beast.

  • Jaybird

    I kind of wish AB would’ve thrown a tantrum this week after a 10 catch 150 yes performance in which his team got killed. I think It would have sent a message to the rest of the team about his desire to win was most important, not stats .

  • Darth Blount 47

    Oh, man… he would have gotten murdered in the media and on this board.

  • Darth Blount 47

    FEED. THE. BEASTS.

  • Jaybird

    I’m just saying I’d rather have seen him show emotion after a butt whooping than after not getting a pass thrown his way.
    Gotta break some stuff after a putrid game like that one!

  • Jason

    the only question is, had Ben not forced it to AB, would the team have been better off…Just because AB got his shouldn’t mean he gets to stand tall

  • Sdale

    It sure does seem like no one else on this team has the dedication/desire that he does. However misguided his antics might be (I hate tantrums of any kind), he and Harrison are the only guys on this team that I see the mentality to always bring it.

  • Sdale

    To be fair, Ben has locked in on Brown most games this season…with a lot of bad decisions during those targets. I’m not sure the tantrum really affected how many times he was targeted.

  • falconsaftey43

    You can’t blame AB if Ben forces it to him and AB produces. Might not be the best thing for the offense, but it’s not AB’s fault. Even if he is complaining that he needs more targets or something, it’s Ben’s job to run the offense and throw the ball where it’s supposed to go.

  • PaeperCup

    That’s what I’m saying, he realized that and adjusted in the Ravens game. Result, less forced balls, an upset Brown, and a division win. Brown “whines”, Ben appeases, has horrendous game.

  • Kevin78

    I could be wrong about this, but it seems that Bell is helping out more before getting into routes.

  • Kevin78

    I wasn’t a fan of that holding call. I didn’t get a great look at the bar, so I could be wrong. But, I thought the defender’s pass rush move put him off balance and caused him to fall. Decastro let go pretty quickly.

  • Kevin78

    I want to know why Ben was throwing at Ramsey so much when he covered people other than Brown. There’s a reason why people have been leaving the guy alone.

  • Matthew Marczi

    A.J. Bouye has been performing at a similar level.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I think if anything it’s more about him feeling more comfortable throwing to Brown than any conscious thought about “I need to get AB the ball so he doesn’t cry”. He was struggling in the game, and when you struggle you tend to look for things you’re more comfortable with.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Sadly, neither can I. The Chiefs have had some injuries though.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Unfortunately I didn’t start tracking this before this season, but he does seem to be staying in to pass protect a fair bit this year, and that’s not even including throwing chips before leaking out into a route.

  • LucasY59

    yeah there is a good chance they wont have Kelce (which didnt matter last night, but will if the only weapons they have are Hunt and Hill)

  • LucasY59

    seems like the D is spying him a lot as well, so when there is a check down to him theres a defender waiting

  • PaeperCup

    good thoughts. My opinion, a little of both. I wish it was more, if he is having a rough game he hands it off. When it rains it pours with this guy.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I broke a few things. Nothing sentimental or integral though. Lol.

  • Jaybird

    Throw Cam Heyward in there also. The guy is true pro.

  • ThatGuy

    True! I was thinking a 6-6.5 opening line but what do I know lol

  • heath miller

    probably only 2 or 3 guys played hard enough to get hurt….

  • Arthur Branch

    I think they are doing that to help Hubbard. When Gilbert gets back Bell should be going out for more passes on 3rd down.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It was the same way in the first two games as well, so I’m not sure that’s it.