Antonio Brown Turning The Exceptional Into The Mundane

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 27 passes for a total of 360 yards. As it always does, much of that went to his favorite target, wide receiver Antonio Brown.

For the ninth consecutive game, Brown caught at least seven receptions, this time coming down with 10 of them. In the process, he surpassed Hines Ward’s franchise mark of 112 receptions in a single season. Brown now holds that record at 115 receptions, with two games left to play. That reception total leads the league.

He also regained control of the league lead in receiving yards, which was a bit easier considering Julio Jones, who overtook the lead last week, did not play today against the Steelers with a hip injury.

Brown totaled 123 receiving yards on the day, which was his seventh game of the season with at least 100 receiving yards. He also has 12 games with at least 90 yards on the year. His lowest yardage total thus far has been 74.

The fifth-year wide receiver finished the game with 1498 receiving yards, which is the second-most in franchise history. The only name standing in front of him now is his own, as he set the franchise record a year ago with his 1499 receiving yards.

In other words, he has two games left to gain just two receiving yards in order to break a record that he has already broken the year before, during which he already had one of the best seasons by a wide receiver in franchise history.

With his 115 receptions, 1498 receiving yards, and career-best 11 touchdown receptions, Brown’s 2014 campaign is already a shoe-in for another trip to the Pro  Bowl and a mention on the All-Pro list, and it may already be the greatest season by a Steelers wide receiver to date.

The fact that he has two more games to add to that total is impressive.

In fact, Brown is on a pace to total 131 receptions, 1712 receiving yards, and likely at least one more touchdown. Should he score two more receiving touchdowns, he will also add that franchise record to his resume.

Let’s take a moment, however, to consider the fact that this performance from Brown has become common—run of the mill. This is simply what Brown does, week in and week out.

Over the past few seasons, the former sixth-round draft pick has become the model of consistency, holding obscure league records attesting to that fact, whose greatest value is simply as a testament to that consistent play.

But the most impressive part about Brown’s 2014 campaign is that when he puts up double digit receptions for triple digit receiving yards, it no longer even feels impressive. It feels expected. It’s expected because Brown is a player who demands it of himself.

What he has been able to do this season has become a given, and that is the most remarkable fact about it as the Steelers have finally put together an offense that can carry a team.

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