Pro Football Focus recently comprised a list of 101 players to make the All-Decade team. Here are the six Pittsburgh Steelers who cracked the list.
With the 2020 NFL season waiting in the wings, we have reached the end of another decade of football. Pro Football Focus recently released its list of 101 players to make their All-Decade team from 2010-2019. The Steelers had six major contributors make the list.
Sam Monson writes that this list wasn’t just an evaluation of talent. Several factors went into choosing this list, including production, efficiency, and performance over a certain period of time. Monson admits that legendary postseason runs also factored into his list.
Here are the six key Steelers to make the cut, and the reasoning behind each selection:
Antonio Brown: 13th
Despite his ongoing antics over the past few seasons, we knew that Antonio Brown couldn’t be held off this list. Brown was one of the most dominant skill players in the league during the 2010s. Here is what Monson had to say about the four-time All-Pro receiver:
13. WR ANTONIO BROWN
The last year or so of drama and controversy has left Brown out in the wilderness, but while he was playing, he was as productive as any receiver in football. Only Julio Jones has a higher yards per route run figure than Brown’s 2.46 over the decade, and he has the fourth-lowest drop rate over that time at just 4.1%. Brown is one of just three players to amass over 10,000 receiving yards over the decade, and he has at least 14 more touchdowns than either of the other players to break that barrier (Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald). Antonio Brown right now is an NFL pariah, but he was one of the best receivers the game had ever seen when he was on the field.
Brown’s career started in 2010, and despite being a former 6th round draft choice, it didn’t take him long to leave his mark on the organization. Brown made his first Pro Bowl as a return man in his second season.
By 2013, he began a stretch of seven straight Pro Bowl seasons in which he averaged over 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns each year. Though we can dislike the character, there’s no denying that Brown was one of the top players of the 2010s. Julio Jones (8th) was the only receiver ranked higher for the decade.