Antonio Brown still has a shot to break NFL receiving yards record

December 22, 2015

With two games remaining, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown needs 378 yards to tie Calvin Johnson’s NFL single-season record for receiving yards. That means he’ll need to average 189 yards in games against the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens to match Johnson and enter receiving immortality.

It’s a long shot, for sure. But counting him out — especially with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger healthy and the Steelers fighting for a playoff spot — seems risky.

Brown is coming off a game in which he caught 16 passes for exactly 189 yards against the Denver Broncos, who might have the best collection of cornerbacks in the NFL. Earlier in the season, Brown produced back-to-back games with 423 total yards, including a 284-yard outburst against the Oakland Raiders. He also had 328 receiving yards over the first two weeks of the season.

His quarterback being healthy has made all the difference for No. 84. Over the nine games Roethlisberger has started and finished in 2015, Brown has 1,243 yards, or 138.1 per game.

His opponents might help the cause, too.

The Browns have given up 100 or more yards to opposing receivers eight times in 2015, including a 178-yard effort from Pittsburgh’s Martavis Bryant and Brown’s 139 yards in the November meeting. The Ravens have allowed only six 100-yard receivers, but Cincinnati’s A.J. Green did manage to burn the Baltimore secondary for 227 yards in September.

Roethlisberger has attempted at least 39 passes in each of his last four games, including two with 55 attempts. The Steelers will throw plenty over the final two contests, especially with the playoffs on the line. Brown's breaking the receiving yards record is far from likely, but we’d be crazy to count him out.

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