If the Steelers needed a reception, the ball went to Antonio Brown.
If the team needed a big play, Brown was their guy.
Only one other player had more catches in a season than Antonio Brown (Indianapolis's Marvin Harrison had 143 catches in 2002). Only five other players had more than Brown's 1,698 receiving yards.
No wide receiver not named Jerry Rice has ever been named NFL Offensive Player of the Year - a feat the first-ballot Hall of Fame receiver achieved in 1987 and 1993. Brown should be the second name on that list.
No one was better than him in 2014. Not Aaron Rodgers - the odds-on favorite to take the league's MVP award at the gala event Saturday night. Not Peyton Manning. Not even teammates Le'Veon Bell (ESPN's AFC North MVP) or Ben Roethlisberger.
Brown never had fewer than five catches, something he only did twice. He averaged eight catches a game over the course of the season. Brown never had fewer than 72 yards, a stat that came in Week 16 against the Chiefs. He had seven catches and a touchdown in that game.
Brown lost two fumbles against the Jets in a nightmarish Week 10 loss. That was pretty much the only negative game he had all year. In a league driven largely by the production of the wide receiver, Brown was the best all-around offensive player in the NFL.
He didn't play solely outside the numbers, counting on the delivery of catchable balls deep to bolster his stats. He wasn't strictly a slot receiver, exploiting mismatches as an extension of the team's running game.
Bell went down during the Steelers' Week 17 division championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals, greatly hindering the team's offensive fluidity. So Brown went out and delivered a dagger to the Bengals' hearts in the form of a 63-yard run-and-catch touchdown - his longest score of the year.
Baltimore loaded up their secondary in the Steelers' playoff game, directing them to focus on nothing but the pass in Bell's absence. Brown came down with a 44-yard grab amid coverage to set up an eventual touchdown while gaining 117 yards on nine catches against the toughest pass defense he faced all year.
Odds of Brown winning the Offensive Player of the Year award are slim. He faces stiff competition in the form of (insert name of any quarterback), not to mention Bell himself, who, according to Pro Football Reference, had the higher approximate value (17-14). Neither Bell nor Brown had the top AV at their respective positions, either.