The Pittsburgh Steelers, as a team, haven’t exactly been what head coach Mike Tomlin would call, “above the line” this season. The team has a 7-8 record and their playoff hopes are in the hands of three other teams.
Even though a down season for the Steelers as a whole may make things look dark in Pittsburgh, that doesn’t take away from shining some light on individual performances.
As voted on by the team, wide receiver Antonio Brown was named the team’s Most Valuable Player for the 2013 season. This the the second time in three years Brown has earned the right to call himself the Steelers’ MVP; Brown claimed the award in 2011 as well.
This is Brown’s fourth year with the Steelers and has had himself a big year to say the least. Brown has caught 101 passes for 1,412 yards and eight receiving touchdowns. Brown has broken Yancy Thigpen’s record set in 1997 and is only 12 catches away from breaking Hines Ward’s single season reception record.
After the departure of Mike Wallace, Brown was asked to step up as the Steelers’ number one receiver and he’s done just that. He’s become highly dependable and is establishing himself as one of the best receivers in the league. Brown has at least five catches for 50 or more yards in each game this season.
Although Brown has had a season for the record books and continues to impress game after game, I don’t believe he’s the true MVP for the Steelers this season. If I had a vote, it would’ve gone to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
If there’s one player this season that’s shown his worth just slightly more than Brown, it’s Roethlisberger. Obviously, the Steelers haven’t had the season they envisioned they would but Roethlisberger has proved to be the glue holding this team together.
Roethlisberger has played in every game this season for the Steelers, something we’re not used to seeing. He’s gone 356 of 555, a 64.4 percent completion rate, 4,082 yards, 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Hi stats aren’t jaw dropping, but it’s clear he’s the best player on the team, especially during this horrid season.
When the Roethlisberger trade rumors began to swirl, the quarterback vowed he’d stay put in the Steel City and without him the Steelers’ record would probably be far worse than what it is right now. Shockingly, Roethlisberger has been the team’s MVP just once in his 10 years spent in Pittsburgh.
Not to take anything away from Brown, because he deserves a lot of credit this season as well, but Roethlisberger just seems to have a little bit more of an edge in my opinion.
Is Brown the right choice for the Steelers’ 2013 MVP? How about Big Ben or maybe even someone else? What say you?
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