Name an offense that is better than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Stat-wise they were not the best team in the NFL but realistically there is no team better.
For years, defense has been associated with the Steelers but in 2014 that changed when WR Antonio Brown and QB Ben Roethlisberger decided they wanted to have their jersey’s and accomplishments mentioned with the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann and Hines Ward.
Big Ben has been an elite QB for the majority of his career, he has 2 Super Bowls to add to his argument plus 42,000+ passing yards and 270+ TDs. What’s missing is that MVP honor. 2014 looked to be his moment but his 4952 yards, 32 TDs weren’t enough to earn what has eluded him.
As for the second weapon in the attack, he has quietly become the best receiver in the NFL. Brown over the last two seasons has caught 265 passes on 374 targets for 3,532 yards and 23 TDs. But he too, even with those numbers hasn’t won the award either. To be fair to Brown, no WR , even the great Jerry Rice has ever won the MVP. How much more does Brown have to do?
In 2015 he caught 136 passed on 193 targets for 1834 yards and 10TDs. There was no typo there, 136 passes, and what made that more impressive was that Roethlisberger missed playing time due to injuries as Brown was forced to catch passes from 3 different QB’s last year. Another factor to take into consideration is this. How outstanding would his numbers be if he was the focal point of the offense like Odell Beckham, A.J. Green, Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins? Remember, Brown is part of possibly the best offense in the NFL. A offense that features Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams in the backfield, both great runners but also both great pass catchers.
But the star is and always will be Roethlisberger. He’s the reason the offense is able to flow the way that it does. Big Ben put up career numbers in 2014 with 4,952 passing yards, 32 TDs and only 8 INTs but he seemed to be an afterthought as Bell and Brown somehow made the headlines with their stats. That’s what happens when you already have 2 Super Bowl rings to your collection.
In 2015, injuries hit Ben but the Steelers offense kept moving thanks to the cast of characters mentioned before, but we cannot forget the contributions that backup QBs Michael Vick and Landry Jones made while steering this high-powered attack in his absence.
What’s scary is how much better this duo could be in 2016.
Can they be the next Joe Montana and Rice, the next Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison or could they take a page out of the Randy Moss and Tom Brady playbook and air it out for the tune of 5000 yards passing and 25 TD receptions? If this were to happen, the NFL may have to atone for their mistake last season and offer Brown the MVP but if Ben is the reason for Brown reaching 25 TDs and possibly 140 receptions, then he has well should be on stage next to Brown accepting his co-award.