Antonio Brown Continues Historic Pace, Becoming Fastest Player To 700 Receptions

The Pittsburgh Steelers were craving for an offensive explosion on the scoreboard, a feat that has been eluding them for nine games. They finally cracked the code last night, and it was Antonio Brown who did the heavy lifting, catching three touchdown passes to double his season total and wrest control of the team lead in that category from rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Following three games that were ‘pedestrian’ by his standards—4 for 65, 5 for 70, 3 for 47—the perennial All-Pro broke out last night and reminded us all once again just why he is the best in the business, and that business is still very much boomin’.

Not only did he catch three passes for touchdowns, he added seven more, for a total of 144 yards. It was his fourth game of the season in which he caught at least 10 passes for at least 100 yards. He did add his third fumble of the season—the second on offense—though he lost none of them. His fumble last night was saved by Martavis Bryant.

But the history was reserved just for him. With his 144 receiving yards on the night, he eclipsed the 1000-yard mark on the season in his 10th game, finishing with 1026. He has recorded at least 1000 receiving yards in five consecutive seasons, which is a franchise record. It is also his sixth such season in eight years.

On a more global note, his eighth reception of the game—a fairly ho-hum eight-yarder to convert on second and four inside the red zone and set up a first and goal—was the 700th in his career. Not one single player in the history of the NFL has managed to reach that mark in fewer games than has Brown.

Last night was the 111th game of his career. Only one other player has ever reached 700 receptions prior to the 120th game of his career, and that would be Marvin Harrison, now in the Hall of Fame, who had Peyton Manning throwing him the football.

Brown has set for him a pace that, provided it continues, would see him become the most prolific receiver in NFL history. He is on pace to record his fifth consecutive 100-reception season, which is a feat that has never been accomplished before.

For the record, the aforementioned Harrison is the only other player in league history to have caught 100 passes or more in four consecutive seasons. Brown has 70 receptions through 10 games, needing 30 over the last six—an average of five per game—to do so. He is averaging seven, on pace for 112.

Brandon Marshall is the only player to have six seasons of 100 receptions. Andre Johnson and Wes Welker are the only other ones with five. Brown—and Larry Fitzgerald, by the way—could join that fraternity this year.

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