Now here is something we have heard before: the Pittsburgh Steelers own the best set of ‘triplets’ in the NFL. Including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and running back Le’Veon Bell, NFL Network writer (and noted Steelers fan) Dave Dameshek awarded Pittsburgh the distinction heading into the 2017 season.
Dameshek actually ranked the Steelers third in this category last season, but with the caveat that he was considering DeAngelo Williams as their top running back, with the veteran serving as their primary ball carrier the season before, and slated to start the first three games of that season. He noted that they would have been first with Bell.
The author ranked Bell and Brown as the number one players at their respective positions this season, with Roethlisberger ranking as his number three quarterback, all of which reads a being pretty reasonable to me, neither under- or overselling.
“Over the last four years, Brown has operated at a peerless level, and not just compared with his contemporaries”, he writes. “No one — not Jerry Rice, not Megatron — has ever put together a period of statistical success like the Steelers star has: 481 catches, 6,315 yards and 43 touchdowns since 2013”.
Of the running back, he notes that “Bell, at a minimum, is in the conversation about the NFL’s best RB, and probably worthy of the contract he wants, despite the fact he’s made 16 starts just once — especially with the looming threat of the future Hall of Fame QB’s retirement, potentially as soon as after this season”.
For the quarterback, Dameshek writes that “if 2017 is the last campaign for Roethlisberger, at least he’ll go out with the most talented offensive unit of his career”. And there is certainly a lot of truth to that. This should be the best offense the Steelers have ever seen. Ever. In their history.
Pittsburgh’s trio ranked ahead of every other team in the league, with Dallas placing second, trailed by the Falcons, the Panthers, and then the Raiders. The Packers and the Patriots just miss out on the top five because of their questions at the running back position, even though they have the two top-ranked quarterbacks.
The Bengals were the first rival in the AFC North to make the list, charting at the 14th spot. That honor is earned primarily from the efforts of their top wide receiver, A.J. Green. The Ravens debut all the way at 29th, and the Browns somehow manage to be next-to-last, instead of last, besting only the Jets, who seem to have no idea what they’re doing any longer.