When the casual NFL fan thinks about dynamic quarterback-wide receiver combinations, several duos come to mind. Combos like Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson, Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham and Peyton Manning to Demariyus Thomas lead the way just to name a few. All are lethal combinations that can completely take over a game.
What people need to start realizing is the simple fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers might possibly have the next great quarterback-wide receiver duo in the NFL.
If you haven’t noticed, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are quietly going about having career years even though the Steelers are headed nowhere fast. The lack of winning in Pittsburgh has overshadowed the seasons that these two players are having, and it is time they get the recognition they deserve.
When the Steelers decided to part ways with Mike Wallace and give the money to Brown there were a lot of Steelers fans and media that wondered if Brown could truly be a No. 1 receiver. Last season Brown’s numbers were mediocre at best as he dealt with injuries that prevented him from having the burst and acceleration that makes him deadly with the ball in his hands.
In 2012, Antonio Brown played in 13 games, caught 66 passes for 787 yards and five touchdowns. That’s pretty disappointing for a team that expected Brown to be the top receiver on the team. In 2013, Brown is having a true coming out party. Through 13 games, Brown has 90 receptions for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns. Brown is currently fourth in the NFL in terms of receiving yards and could climb to the third position by year’s end.
You cannot mention a wide receiver without mentioning the quarterback throwing him the football. Ben Roethlisberger has always been capable of having big seasons, but this year he is setting a precedent that even he hasn’t seen before. Through 13 games, Roethlisberger has thrown for 3,724 yards and 24 touchdowns. He is on pace to break his personal record for yards in a season set in 2009 when he passed for 4,328 yards. Roethlisberger would need help in passing his career mark in touchdown tosses as his personal best is 32 set in 2007 believe it or not, but in terms of yardage, Roethlisberger ranks fifth in the NFL amongst active quarterbacks.
The Pittsburgh Steelers might have a dismal record, they might not make the playoffs, and there might be a lot of questions on this football team heading forward. One question that will not have to be answered is whether or not they have a franchise quarterback and a true No. 1 receiver. They clearly have both as Roethlisberger and Brown are becoming the NFL’s next great quarterback-wide receiver duo.