You probably don't remember Laveranues Coles. The ex-Redskins and Jets receiver owns an interesting and fairly impressive NFL record; 19 consecutive games with at least five catches and 50 yards. Not Rice, not Calvin Johnson or Randy Moss. Laveranues Coles.
That may change come Week 3, as the 7-for-90 spot Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown put up Thursday against Baltimore puts him at 18, heading into Carolina in Week 3 looking to tie the mark.
Brown missed a portion of the game when he took a shot to the head after making a big third down reception. He missed a series while being evaluated for a concussion. Upon being cleared to return, he did what Brown does. Sort of.
It was a poor offensive showing all around for the Steelers, but Brown was able to extend his streak with a solid performance in the second half. He is also the franchise's single-season receiving yards record holder, having set that mark in Week 16 last year. Expectations are high for Brown to both break that record again as well as challenge Hines Ward's record of 112 receptions in a season. Brown had 110 last year, and through two weeks, he's at 12, putting him on pace for 96. With 206 yards in the first two weeks, he's on pace for 1,648 yards, however.
Brown is as dangerous a receiver as there is in the NFL, and his stats over the last 18 games bear that out. With 122 catches and 1,705 in his last 18 games, an average of 94 yards per game is impressive. But it's the role he plays in the Steelers' offense that's so impressive. Brown showed how difficult a cover assignment he is against Cleveland, when, upon a breakdown in protection, Brown broke past Browns cornerback Joe Haden and ran from outside the wide seam to the front pylon of the end zone to haul in a Ben Roethlisberger pass for a 38-yard touchdown. He also took a quick pass across the middle for a 41-yard gain earlier in the game.
Carolina has one of the better pass rushes in the NFL, and coverage on Brown is growing increasingly more aggressive in the short spaces where he really likes to roam. It's a tougher match-up for him, but with the amount of targets he receives, it would seem likely something happened to him in the Baltimore game if he cannot get five catches and 50 yards in this one.