Brown and Cotchery score, Wheaton contributes to all around solid game from Steelers receivers

Gregory Shamus

When Emmanuel Sanders went down, and Antonio Brown drew the teeth of the Lions defense, Jerricho Cotchery and Markus Wheaton made plays outside the numbers to keep the team moving.

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown ran over the soggy Heinz Field turf like he was rocket-powered. Detroit's pursuing secondary looked like they were still mastering the "one foot in front of the other" thing.

Brown burned his way to two touchdowns as the Steelers jumped out to a 14-0 lead. He had four catches, 105 yards and some serious YAC damage.

It wouldn't be long until that lead was gone, courtesy of blown coverage and shoddy tackling.

Detroit collapsed on Brown, cutting off the underneath routes on which he had done so much damage. Ben Roethlisberger didn't miss a best without his top receiver, even when Emmanuel Sanders went down with a foot injury, not to return.

Rookie receiver Markus Wheaton filled in to some degree, and Jerricho Cotchery grabbed two catches in his stead. Those catches came before a 20-yard strike that sealed the Steelers fourth win this season.

While Roethlisberger had an outstanding game, the depth of the Steelers receiving corps helped the Steelers put up 17 fourth quarter points by filling in for one teammate who drew all coverage and another who couldn't play. And in the end, the Steelers showed progress from a position group that had been maligned for its lack of plays made.

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