Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger shows appreciation for receiver Antonio Brown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s appreciation of wide receiver Antonio Brown showed at the end of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 17-9 win Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Needing to take three knees to secure the Steelers’ third win of the season, Roethlisberger successfully lobbied coach Mike Tomlin to throw one more pass so Brown could extend an NFL record.

With two minutes left in the game and Jacksonville out of timeouts, Roethlisberger threw a short pass that Brown turned into a 16-yard catch and run. The Steelers ran out the clock from there.

Roethlisberger made the unorthodox request so Brown could catch a fifth pass and make it 21 consecutive games in which he has had at least five receptions and 50 receiving yards.

Brown finished with five receptions for 84 yards.

"I’m not always a fan of doing things like that, because I know that bad things can happen, but a guy like that deserves it," Roethlisberger said. "He deserves to get the ball to keep the record going because of the work and dedication he brings to this team, to the game and the organization. I’m just glad that the coaches were OK with it and he got it."

Tomlin might draw some criticism for allowing a pass at the end of a game that the Steelers needed to win in the worst way. But it reflected his trust in Roethlisberger -- and his appreciation of Brown, who moved past Mike Wallace and into ninth place on the Steelers’ receiving yards list. Brown has 4,072 receiving yards and needs 67 to move past Plaxico Burress and into eighth-place on the Steelers’ all-time list.

Here is a look at ESPN’s coverage from the Steelers’ win at EverBank Stadium:

  • Brice McCain was an unlikely hero in the Steelers’ win after returning an interception 22 yards for a touchdown. Or was he?

  • McCain was the man of the hour in the Steelers’ locker room, and he received my game ball.

  • ESPN NFL analyst Merrill Hoge said not to let Jacksonville’s 0-5 record take away from the Steelers’ win.

  • Here was my immediate take after the Steelers held off the Jaguars, improving to 3-2.

A look around the AFC North:

  • Johnny Who? Browns reporter Pat McManamon writes how Brian Hoyer strengthened his grip on the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback job by leading a most unlikely comeback Sunday at Tennessee.

  • The Cincinnati Bengals came crashing back to earth following a 3-0 start and ascending to No. 2 in the ESPN NFL Power Rankings. Cincinnati was drilled by New England on Sunday night, and Bengals reporter Coley Harvey writes that the Bengals' inability to stop the Patriots' tight ends were a big reason why they flopped on a national stage.

  • Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith continues to struggle, and Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley writes that an untimely drop loomed large in a seven-point loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

What others are writing about the Steelers:

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cooks says Roethlisberger has reason to be thankful after the defense "bailed" him out.

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Gene Collier ponders whether the Steelers' offense is as bad as it looked against the NFL's worst defense.

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat reporter Gerry Dulac hands out his postgame grades and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review beat reporter Mark Kaboly takes a closer look at two game-changers for the Steelers.

  • The Pittsburgh Business Times is running a bracket-style challenge of the greatest players in Steelers' history. Vote here.