Despite slumping receivers around him and a passing offense that has cooled down a bit from where it started, the Steelers can still bank on Antonio Brown to deliver the goods.
The fifth-year receiver had 90 yards on nine catches, giving him 719 yards on the season, seven more than second-place Jordy Nelson of the Green Bay Packers. T.Y. Hilton of the Indianapolis Colts, the Steelers' Week 8 opponents, comes in third, just a yard behind Nelson.
Brown has had to work considerably harder this season to get catches, and the Steelers have used him in the deeper passing game more often recently. Some of this is attributed to the recent slump from second-year WR Markus Wheaton, who has just four catches in his last two games. He was shut out against Houston in Week 7 on two targets.
He's on pace right now to break both the Steelers' single-season record for catches and yards, with 114 and 1,643, respectively. He also is on pace to score 11 total touchdowns, all numbers that likely would land Brown on the All Pro first team - the first Steelers receiver to do that since Hines Ward in 2002.
To get to that point, Brown will need the Steelers' passing offense to find some semblance of balance. While he should get the majority of the targets, teams are scratching, clawing and mauling Brown in and around the line of scrimmage. He is quick enough off the line to break press coverage, but the things he's having to do down the field to get the ball are not sustainable. Getting another second down the field due to a safety who had his eye on the other side would help his production greatly.
As it is, Brown is still one of the game's most dangerous players and will continue to be that way as this 2014 season wears on.