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2017 stat projections have Antonio Brown reaching new heights for the Steelers

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The Pittsburgh Steelers could have a very dynamic offense in 2017, and the early statistical projections echo this sentiment in a variety of ways.

NFL: Preseason-Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to anticipation, there is little which would match the anticipation of waiting to see the Pittsburgh Steelers offense get to work with all parts finally assembled. They aren’t all assembled currently, but the hope is they will be when the games actually start to count.

The ‘Killer B’s’, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell, will be back, and the expectation of these players has never been higher. The collective unit has only played in 21 games together since Bryant was drafted, and when they are all on the field good things happen.

Recently, NumberFire has produced their latest 2017 stat projections, and for the Steelers it speaks of good news for the black and gold offense.

Take a look at the projections below:

You can look at the numbers above, and digest them how you like, but for me, I might take a different look at the same numbers. Here is what jumped out to me when perusing these statistics.

  • Some might look at Ben Roethlisberger’s 4,025 yards and think this number is low for No. 7, and I would agree, but I also notice the projections have Landry Jones having 33 projected attempts. In other words, they are assuming Roethlisberger doesn’t play in a game. It could be a meaningless game, like the Week 17 game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field, garbage time reps for Landry or an injury which keeps Roethlisberger out of a game. Either way, the other stats certainly would tell why Roethlisberger’s passing yard projections are down.
  • One of the reason’s Roethlisberger’s passing yard projections might be down is because of the team’s running game. Le’Veon Bell is projected to have 1,398 yards this season, which would be a career high for the All-Pro running back. Bell’s 85 receptions would have him second on the team, again, and would continue his quest to be paid as a No. 2 wide receiver on top of a No. 1 running back.
  • Antonio Brown would continue his dominance on the league with yet another 100 reception season, if these projections came to fruition. Brown’s 112 receptions, which would be the third most in his career, and his 1,444 yards would not just lead the league, but would also continue his rampage on the receiver record books for consecutive seasons with over 100 receptions and 1,000 yards.
  • Martavis Bryant’s projected stat line is also something worth checking out. 56 receptions with just under 800 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns makes it seems as if the guy who only catches touchdowns might have some rust after being forced to miss the 2016 season due to suspension. Although 800 yards would be a career high for Bryant, those previous seasons were never a full season. 5 touchdowns would also be the lowest output of his brief career.

Other projection tidbits:

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster’s 28 receptions and 2 touchdowns combined with James Conner’s 22 carries and 88 total yards doesn’t really scream offensive output for the team’s offensive rookies.
  • Eli Rogers’ 32 receptions and 472 yards would be a slit decline in production for the third year receiver after 2016.
  • Jesse James’ 43 receptions and 429 yards would be the most for a Steelers tight end since Heath Miller hung up the cleats after the 2015 season.

Let us know what you think of these projections in the comment section below...