I realize that people don’t like to talk about milestones and things like that after a loss—we were in this exact same position a week ago—but they have to be acknowledged at some point, and we had another milestone in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ last-second loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
In what was statistically his biggest game of the season so far, nine-year veteran wide receiver Antonio Brown surpassed 1000 receiving yards for the sixth consecutive season, and for the seventh time in his career. That is the most in franchise history, breaking a tie with Hines Ward, who recorded six 1000-yard seasons.
Brown entered the night with 875 yards on the season on 71 receptions. Given that he had not recorded more than 117 yards in any one game this year, it was statistically unlikely he would cross that line against the Chargers, but he broke out for 154 yards on 10 receptions, which was his first game with double-digit receptions in 2018.
The big game leaves him with 1029 yards on the season, which currently is the fourth-lowest yardage total he has had had in a season during his nine-year career. But of course he has four more games to add to that total, and I’m figuring he should be able to get another 300 yards or so during that span.
Brown is just the 16th player in NFL history to record six consecutive 1000-yard seasons, a feat that has most recently been achieved by former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson from 2010 through 2015. Brandon Marshall recorded seven consecutive seasons of 1000 or more yards from 2007 to 2013.
Marshall is one of nine players who have had a streak of at least seven seasons, while five players have done it for at least eight years in a row. Tim Brown had nine straight seasons, while the great Jerry Rice owns the all-time record, recording 1000 or more yards in 11 consecutive years from 1986 through the 1996 season.
Though the year has felt like a grind for Brown in comparison to some of his previous seasons, one area he has had little difficulty contributing has been in the end zone. He caught his 12 touchdown of the year last night against the Chargers, which is tied for the second-most in team history—his own record being 13.
Brown is currently sitting at 81 receptions on the season for the aforementioned 1029 yards and 12 touchdowns. With a quarter of the season remaining, that puts him on pace to finish the year with 108 receptions for 1372 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Realistically, there’s always a good chance that he could fall off his pace of a touchdown per game, but given that he is underperforming his career totals in receptions and receiving yardage per game, he could end up finishing with even better numbers in those categories than projected.