There’s this guy on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 53-man roster by the name of Antonio Brown. He is an undersized wide receiver who came out of the draft early back in 2010 from a small school, and went in the sixth round. He is arguably the most valuable player in all of the NFL.
In a game in which they needed just about every yard, Brown gave them 213 on 11 receptions, which was just the second 200-yard receiving game of his career. He had numerous big catches throughout the game, but none bigger than a 34-yard catch-and run on third and four at the Steelers’ 36-yard line on what proved to be the game-winning drive.
That is the play that put him over 200 yards for the game, on his 11th reception, but the Steelers needed the other 10 to even get them into that position. He had a 22-yard reception on second and five on the previous drive, a touchdown drive, and an 11-yarder to follow.
In the first half, he beat Brandon Carr twice for receptions of 28 and 43 yards, and he also induced a pass interference penalty that set up first and goal from the one. And as you can imagine, some of the catches that he made were remarkable—or, when he is doing it, routine, because that is what he has turned them into.
Brown is having one of the best seasons of his career in year eight, and the fact that we can’t say definitely that it is his best merely speaks to how incredible and consistent he has been. Following last night’s outpouring of production, he now leads the league with 99 receptions for 1509 yards.
His next reception will give him 100 on the season, and his next touchdown will be his 10th. Only DeAndre Hopkins, with two touchdowns yesterday, has more at the moment. He is first or second in just about any receiving stat short of yards per reception, yet his 15.2 yards per reception on 99 receptions is remarkable efficiency. It is the third-highest average among receivers with at least 60 receptions, behind only Julio Jones and Tyreek Hill.
There are so many games this season that we can point to and ask ourselves what this team would do without Brown. They almost had to try to answer that question two games ago when he was questionable with a toe injury, yet he played an turned in another excellent performance.
Over the course of his past four games, Brown now has 39 receptions for 627 yards and six touchdowns, averaging nearly 10 receptions for over 155 yards and a touchdown and a half per game. He is playing his best football, perhaps of his career, heading into next week’s huge game against the Patriots.
We are quickly approaching a point at which accolades are meaningless for Brown, simply because all has been said. I’ll just repeat what I said on Twitter: I am glad that Antonio Brown is on the Pittsburgh Steelers.