Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has caught at least five passes for a minimum of 50 yards in 34 consecutive games and that’s an NFL record. Bill Barnwell of Grantland, however, thinks the streak is silly.
Antonio Brown’s five-catch, 50-yard streak has always been silly; not only is it an entirely arbitrary cutoff, but it undersells how great of a player he is. Even though they’re minimums, those figures add up to 80 catches for 800 yards. It’s the sort of streak that your basic starting wide receiver would aim to hit on a weekly basis. Brown is the best wideout in football: We can set our sights higher.
While Barnwell deems Brown’s record as being silly and not overly reflective of his greatness, it’s still impressive just the same. Prior to Brown breaking the record, it belonged to Laveranues Coles, but his streak was only for 19 games. In fact, only nine different players in the history of the NFL have been able to string together 11 or more games with at least five catches and 50 yards receiving.
Sure, Brown’s streak doesn’t define him like Barnwell suggested in his post and other yardage numbers are certainly more dignified. However, it does show how incredibly consistent that Brown’s been over the last two-plus seasons.
Additionally, perhaps Barnwell will like this streak of Brown’s even better. Heading into Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams, Brown has managed to catch at least seven passes for a minimum of 70 yards in 13 straight games. To put that into better perspective, no player in the history of the NFL has managed to do that in nine consecutive games, let alone 13.
In closing, yes, young wide receivers should aim to hit five catches every week and a minimum of 50 yards as it appears to be tough to do on a weekly basis. Brown’s streak is sure to come to an end at some point, but I’m willing to bet it will be a long time before it’s ever broken.
Are these manufactured records? Sure they are, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive.