Injuries have put a damper on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2015 campaign but the future still looks extremely bright for the team, especially for its young playmakers on offense.
Antonio Brown put on an incredible display in Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders. He caught 17 passes and turned them into 284 yards. Both numbers are all-time franchise bests for the Steelers. If Brown is not the league’s number one receiver, I don’t know who is.
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Le’Veon Bell was lost for the season due to an MCL injury suffered in last week’s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, his backup DeAngelo Williams is balling out on a special level. That doesn’t mean people are going to forget about Bell, though. When healthy Bell is widely considered to be the NFL’s best running back.
Both Bell and Brown earned a special distinction this week, when Pro Football Focus named their All-Pro team for the first half of the season.
PFF rated Bell a 94.0 overall. Here’s what they had to say about him:
“The clear No. 1 back in our system, Bell’s injury will likely prevent him from earning All-Pro honors at the end of the season, but it can’t prevent him being our guy at the halfway point.”
What’s remarkable is that Bell is light years ahead of the rest of his peers, according to their rating system. The second highest rated tailback was Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman, who came in at 86.8.
The competition was much tighter for Brown at wide receiver, but he also claimed the top rating, with a 98.1, just ahead of Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald.
Some critics say that Pro Football Focus’ methodology is flawed, and I would be lying if I said I agreed with every single number that they’ve come up with over the years, but the fact is that they are acknowledged as the world’s premier football analysts right now. 19 NFL teams are paying them for exclusive data and it’s not hard to imagine a day in the near future when all 32 are on board.
Steelers fans should consider themselves extremely lucky to have the two best players at the two most important positions on offense aside from quarterback.
Earlier in the season before his first injury, Ben Roethlisberger was ranked number one there as well, so you can definitely make a case that this is the best QB/RB/WR combo there is.