Wouldn’t it be great if the Pittsburgh Steelers could get both Ronald and Antonio Brown on the field together? After all, they are kind of looking for a number two receiver right about now anyway, aren’t they? Can somebody please get in touch with Antonio about getting Ronald on the field?
Unless that was Ronald on the field on Sunday who caught five passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. And even if we go about that ridiculous little scenario, we come upon a something ridiculous, and a slightly worrying, realization upon looking at the Steelers’ stat sheet for the season.
Even if you include ‘Ronald’ Brown’s production on Sunday and add it to the total body of work that all other receivers not named Antonio Brown have contributed to the team this season, AB’s total body of work still easily eclipses everything that the rest of the group has done together.
Between Sammie Coates’s 22 receptions for 425 yards and two touchdowns, Darrius Heyward-Bey’s five receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns, Eli Rogers’s 30 catches for 354 yards and two touchdowns, Markus Wheaton’s four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown, and Cobi Hamilton’s 11 receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown, all receivers other than Brown have combined for 72 receptions for 1036 yards and eight touchdowns.
All by his lonesome—okay, with a little bit of help from Ronald—Antonio Brown has amassed 88 receptions for 1052 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. In other words, he has more receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns than all other wide receivers on the roster combined.
It would be foolish to deny, of course, that this is partly attributable to the fact that Brown is simply an exceptional talent, and his ability to accumulate so much offensive success all on his own limits the number of opportunities for others to make similar contributions.
With that in mind, it would make sense to compare the number of targets that everybody has received on the year. Brown has faced 128 targets in 2016, catching 88 of them, which produces a reception percentage of 68.76 percent.
Sammie Coates has been targeted 45 times, catching 20 passes. Eli Rogers’ 30 receptions have come on 46 targets. Cobi Hamilton has caught 11 of 19 targets, while Markus Wheaton caught four of nine before going on injured reserve. Darrius Heyward-Bey caught only five of 15 targets.
All told, every wide receiver on the roster not named Antonio Brown has combined to face 134 targets, or six more than the total number of targets that the team’s first-team All-Pro wide receiver has faced this year.
I’m not saying that that should not be the case, obviously. But I am saying that the Steelers should get a lot better production. Brown has produced 8.22 yards per target, while the rest have produced 7.73, while combining for a catch rate of just 54 percent, and three fewer touchdowns. Where is Ronald when you need him? At least there’s Le’Veon Bell and Ladarius Green.