It is probably not all that difficult to find among educated football fans those who share the opinion that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive trio of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and running back Le’Veon Bell constitute the best ‘trio’ in the game.
Sports Illustrated went even further in describing them as a group that “will go down as one of the best ever”, but while they may need to put in a bit more longevity to secure that sort of legacy, it is hard to argue against the impact that they have already made over the course of the past four seasons.
Jonathan Jones wrote an article recently, though, in which he attempted to identify the four teams who could best hope to match Pittsburgh’s triplets. It was such a foregone conclusion for him that the Steelers’ group is the best in the game that there was no space wasted in an entry for the Steelers with a ‘number one’ entry.
Instead, he covered that in the prelude text, writing that “there’s no question as to which team boasts the best offensive trio in football. The Pittsburgh Steelers…have been among the most dominant offensive players the past three seasons”.
He noted that “Roethlisberger has been in the top-five in passing yards per game in two of the three seasons, while Brown has been top-five in receiving yards three times in that span and Bell has placed in the top five in rushing yards twice”.
Jones even went so far as to say that the only reason that the Steelers’ trio lacks a historical title to which they would be referred for posterity is an absence of creativity. But in actuality, they already do have a nickname: The Killer Bs. And they stand head and shoulders above the rest. Not that their competition is a bunch of slouches.
Jones’ second-best set of triplets was the Falcons, consisting of quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones, and running back Devonta Freeman, and I think that’s a fair case to make. Both Jones and Ryan are in the argument for the best at their position in the game right now, while Freeman is a very capable back.
Largely predicated upon the strength of the quarterback position at number three, the Patriots were next with Tom Brady being joined by wide receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowksi, evidently foregoing the QB-RB-WR model that is generally used.
Taking the same approach for number four, newly-acquired tight end Martellus Bennett fills out of the Packers’ triplets with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Jordy Nelson, the latter of whom led the league in touchdown receptions a year ago.
Finally, the last member of the top five is the Cowboys, who have a set of triplets that were rookies in 2016 in quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. Veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant completes the group.