Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers continues to make one of the more impressive streaks in the NFL look easy, as he has now reached 34 straight regular-season games -- 35 including the playoffs -- with at least five catches and 50 yards.
Just as he did in Week 1 against the New England Patriots, Brown only needed the first half Sunday to extend the streak against the San Francisco 49ers. He caught five passes for 128 yards in the first half. It was the most receiving yards he’s had in any half in his career.
For the game, Brown had nine catches for 195 yards and a touchdown.
Brown abused San Francisco’s secondary at all levels: short screens, quick-hitting passes, over the middle in the intermediate zones and with a highlight-reel fly route down the left sideline. It was a third-and-9 conversion when Brown put on the brakes after the catch, changed direction and nearly scored.
Brown’s quickness and precise route running were more than any of San Francisco’s cornerbacks can handle. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sharp, completing 21 of 27 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns, and Pittsburgh’s pass protection was strong.
Is there a better wide receiver in football right now? It’s a safe bet that Brown’s fantasy owners wouldn’t trade Brown for anyone. Sure, guys like Julio Jones and Dez Bryant have a size-and-strength combination that Brown doesn’t possess, but on a weekly basis, no one is as consistent as Brown.
The Niners' corners aren't the fastest group around, and Brown repeatedly took advantage. Everybody talks about his quickness, but he's faster than people realize.
And he's quick even in tight spaces, as he showed with his second touchdown -- a seven-yard reception in the fourth quarter. A few plays earlier he ran by the corner after a San Francisco defender jumped offsides, giving the Steelers a free play.
One of the things that has made Brown's performance so amazing in the first two weeks is the Steelers were missing Martavis Bryant and Le'Veon Bell to suspension, so defenses could focus on Brown. That changes next week when Bell returns.
It's getting to the point where it seems Brown can do anything he wants. He's like Gronk.