Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is one of the most prolific pass-catchers in NFL history, and he gave the Atlanta Falcons a taste of his greatness in a critical victory for his team.
The first four weeks of the NFL season brought frustration for Pittsburgh Steelers superstar wideout Antonio Brown, who infamously failed to make an impact in the team’s shootout loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4. Despite receiving a whopping 17 targets from Ben Roethlisberger, Brown only turned in 67 receiving yards for fantasy football owners.
Brown’s outburst on the sidelines was caught by cameras, and his ill-advised “trade me” tweet and missed meeting caused plenty of drama in Pittsburgh. With Le’Veon Bell holding out, drama was the last thing Pittsburgh needed.
However, that seems like a thing of the past now, because Brown absolutely lit up the Atlanta Falcons defense in a key Week 5 win for the Steelers. This was a huge bounce-back performance from the offense after a Week 4 loss to the rival Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football.
At the heart of the Steelers victory was Brown, who hauled in six passes on 13 targets for 101 yards and a pair of touchdown receptions. Unbelievably, it was the first time this season that Brown had either a multi-touchdown performance or a 100-yard game in 2018. For a guy who averaged nearly 110 receiving yards in 2017, the decline in statistics must have been jarring.
The Steelers have to spread the love a little bit more on offense whenever Roethlisberger drops back, because JuJu Smith-Schuster is becoming one of the NFL’s best wide receivers. On many other teams, he’d be the clear-cut No. 1 option, but in Pittsburgh, he’s content with being Brown’s sidekick.
Earlier in the week, Brown compared his connection with Roethlisberger to Wi-Fi, reasoning that sometimes it’s “on” and sometimes it isn’t. It sure looked “on” in the 41-17 win over Atlanta, in a game where the elite wideout on the other side, Julio Jones, caught just five balls for 62 yards.
Brown has been getting open with consistency over the past two weeks, and it seems like he could blow up for even bigger numbers in Week 6 against a familiar opponent. The Cincinnati Bengals defense answered the Kenny Stills question this week in a 27-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. They will test Brown, but Brown looks poised to start a true hot streak in terms of fantasy football production.
The Steelers offense was clicking on the ground and through the air against the Falcons, with both Brown and James Conner notching multiple touchdowns and over 100 yards from scrimmage. It looks like Pittsburgh is putting the league on notice that they’ve solved the early-season inconsistencies on offense.
Brown’s play is back to where it was, and it’s only a matter of time before he and Roethlisberger hook up for an even bigger performance than his Week 5 owning of the Falcons secondary. The Bengals and opposing fantasy owners had better watch out for what Brown could do over the next few weeks, as he’ll likely turn frustration into more Hall of Fame-caliber statistics.