JETSerious’ Star Spotlight Jets @ Steelers: Antonio Brown


Each week of the season, JETSerious will be providing a look at the star player on the opposing team. We’ll be taking a look at their career thus far, and their potential impact in the upcoming game.

For Week 2, where the Jets will travel to Pittsburgh, we’ve chosen to spotlight the Steelers Wide Receiver Antonio Brown.

Antonio Brown, out of Central Michigan, was a 6th round draft pick in 2010. Debuting against the Titans in 2010, Brown took a reverse for an 89 yard touchdown on the first play of the game. Talk about a fast start!

He then went on to help the Steelers in replacing Santonio Holmes, and eventually made a clutch (Holmes-like) play to help them beat the Ravens in the 2011 AFC Divisional Playoffs. The next week, he caught the game-clinching grab against the Jets to knock us out of the playoffs. You remember that 3rd & 6 play that ended our season, don’t you?

I do… and it hurt!

Since then, Brown has really emerged as the Steelers top threat. Yeah, they have Mike Wallace as a deep burner. But Antonio Brown is Pittsburgh’s most reliable weapon. The Steelers, aware of his impact this offseason, recently signed him to a 5 year extension worth $42.5 Million.

In just 25 starts since 2010, Brown recorded 85 receptions for 1,275 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also has 2 touchdowns as a returner on special teams… so he’s versatile.

The big question for Brown is… will Darrelle Revis play?

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Revis suffered a concussion last week, after Bart Scott accidently kicked him. But if he’s able to play, the next question would be… who’s he covering? Ideally, I see Antonio Cromartie matching up against the speedster Wallace. That leaves Darrelle Revis on Antonio Brown. If that’s the case… it’ll be a good battle for watch for.

The Jets plan to slow down the Steelers high-powered offense, starting with Antonio Brown. If the Jets are able to prevent him from going off, with or without Revis, it’ll benefit them tremendously. If the Jets can disrupt Ben Roethlisberger’s rhythm, it’ll help cause a change of possession, and enable the Jets to control the clock. Now, to disrupt his rhythm and timing, it starts with Brown. Yeah, Roethlisberger has other options (Emmanuel Sanders & Jerricho Cotchery), but Brown is his primary target. It’d be wise of Rex Ryan and his defense to focus primarily on Brown and his yards after the catch (YAC).

It’s crucial that the Jets prevent Brown from creating YAC, especially if Revis cannot play. Revis is a great tackler, but even he would have to be at the top of his game vs. Brown.

However, if the Jets play it safe and sit Revis, they must have a game plan in place, to help tackle Brown after each catch. LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell will have to step up and help Kyle Wilson, if Revis can’t go.

Antonio Brown kind of reminds me of Victor Cruz, because of his ability to make a routine catch into a long play. After seeing Cruz go for a 99 yard touchdown on the Jets last season, preventing that type of big play must be a priority for the Jets on Sunday. It starts with shutting down star wideout Antonio Brown.

I predict that Revis will play, and it’ll be a heck of a matchup on Sunday. Keep your eyes peeled, folks. These are two rare talents that will go at it all day. I expect Brown to make a couple of catches, but ultimately, Revis will get the best of him.

Thanks for reading!

Check back next week for JETSerious’ Star Spotlight on Jets @ Dolphins.

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