It took a while, but it looks as though wide receiver Antonio Brown has finally started to get a boosted signal from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ star pairing hooked up for six catches and 101 receiving yards with two touchdowns.
It was the first 100-yard game of the season for Brown, as well as the first with multiple scores, but he now has five touchdowns on the season, trailing only Atlanta Falcons rookie Calvin Ridley. He now has 35 catches on the year for 373 yards and five touchdowns.
It still doesn’t put him on his typical pace, outside of the scoring, but it is a good step in the right direction, with most of the damage—including both of his touchdown—coming in the second half. One came inside the red zone on goal-to-go and the other was on a deep ball for 47 yards.
And the scoring is the most important part, of course. Five touchdowns in five games is impressive, so he has been doing his part where he matters most, even if he hasn’t been catching as many passes for as many yards as he has become accustomed to.
He was still targeted 13 times and was only able to make the reception on six of them. Off the top of my head, I can’t recall if any of the other seven targets were even reasonably catchable.
That is unless you have the inclination of including a pass into triple coverage at the end of the first half that resulted in an interception in the end zone. That was a throw that I really though initially Roethlisberger was throwing away, and I was baffled when I realized that it remained inbounds. The quarterback missed him on two short passes as well.
So there is clearly still some work yet to do in getting these two back on the right path. There is no reason that Brown should result in a catch on fewer than half of his targets in a game. The balls simply have not been where they have needed to be.
Is the second half a sign of things to come? He was targeted five times in the third and fourth quarters, coming up with four receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He caught two 15-yarders each, as well as a nine-yard out route from the slot in the red zone and then a go ball down the left sideline for 47 yards.
I can only surmise that Brown called his ISP during halftime and had them reset the connection on the business end, because the service was clearly better in the second half.