2014 was a record setting season for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense and from the most productive set of triplets in NFL history. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led the league in passing yards with 4,952, averaging 309.5 yards per game. He added in 32 touchdown passes against 7 interceptions and a QBR of 103.3, leading the Steelers to an 11-5 record and an AFC North division title. It was the first playoff appearance for Pittsburgh, following back to back 8-8 records in 2012 and 2013.
Catching 129 of Roethlisberger’s passes was Antonio Brown, whose receptions total was second in NFL history for a single season, and went for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns. The question of what can Brown do for you? was answered on a weekly basis, from just about every scenerio imaginable. From Punt returns to a big third or fourth down catch to sustain a drive, Antonio Brown delivered on time. The second leading receiver for the Steelers last season was all-world running back LeVeon Bell, who had 83 receptions for 854 yards and 3 touchdowns. On the ground, Bell averaged 4.7 yards per carry, on his way to 1,361 yards and 8 touchdowns.
What sets Ben, Bell and Brown apart, from the other sets of triplets of the past that they have been compared to, is that they are all within their prime years and they aren’t even close to being satisfied with what they have accomplished. They won’t be out worked by anyone. Perhaps the biggest attribute they have is that they are humble in their confidence to get the jobs done and they are all team first guys. These three will be once again be leading an offense, in 2015, that is going to have to carry the team while the defense comes together during its much needed youth movement.
While the Steelers are still looking for a viable backup for Big Ben, they brought in free agent running back D’Angelo Williams to help keep Bell fresh all season, giving the Steelers one of the best 1-2 punches in the league. Williams should be a more than adequate replacement while Bell is serving his suspension. With receiving depth that includes Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant and rookie Sammie Coates, Antonio Brown should continue to see single coverage and continue his ongoing streak of at least 5 receptions/60 yards per game that is sitting at around 34 consecutive games now.
With arguably the toughest schedule in the league facing the Steelers this season, not alot of people have the Steelers repeating the success they had last year. Perhaps they are not aware that with the explosive offense they possess, all the defense needs to be is just adequate. Perhaps they still fail to realize what Ben, Bell and Brown can score on anyone at any time almost at will. Either way, as long as this set of triplets is roaming the field, the Pittsburgh Steelers are legitimate threats to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and to bring home their seventh Lombardi Trophy.