Don’t look now, but it looks like Antonio Brown could be primed to set a single-season record this weekend against the Green Bay Packers.
That’s right, readers. Pittsburgh’s number one pass catcher is only 91 receiving yards away (1,307) from tying the single-season mark (1,398) that Yancey Thigpen set back in 1997.
Thigpen, who came off of an injury-plagued 1996 campaign, shined during his contract year that fall while he emerged as Kordell Stewart’s favorite pass-catcher (79 catches and seven touchdowns). Even though the Steelers were more of a ground-and-pound offensive attack in 1997, Thigpen was the team’s most potent weapon in the passing game while he returned to Pro Bowl form.
While Thigpen’s glorious season might be lost in the memories of many in Steeler Nation due to the fact that 1997 was Slash’s breakout campaign, nobody will forget how much Brown has meant to Pittsburgh’s offensive attack this fall. Despite the team’s 6-8 mark thus far, A.B. has been the catalyst for Pittsburgh’s offense all season.
Brown has caught at least five passes (95 total) for at least 50 yards during each of Pittsburgh’s 14 games, and he could very well break Thigpen’s record this weekend when Pittsburgh’s offense faces Green Bay’s less than stellar pass defense (23rd in passing yards allowed).
If Brown can indeed break the 16-year old mark, he could record the most productive pass-catching season in franchise history if he is able to top Hines Ward’s single-season mark for receptions (112) in a regular season.
It will not be easy for Brown to record 17 grabs during the season’s final two weeks, but he did record 30 catches over a three-game stretch earlier this year. Even if Brown cannot surpass Ward’s almost untouchable number, he should definitely be in line to be the only other player in franchise history to record at least 100 catches during one regular season.
Like “NPC” on Facebook: Nice Pick, Cowher