It looked like the Broncos had the firepower to hang with the Steelers, but that lasted for only a half. In the end, Brown was too much to contain.
The Steelers wide receiver finished with 16 catches on 18 targets for 189 yards. He has the top two games in terms of receptions this season, as he had a career-high 17 against the Raiders in Week 9. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that he is the first player with multiple 16-reception games in the same season.
He is also the first player with at least 15 receptions, 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a game since Wes Welker did so for the Patriots against the Bills in 2011.
Steelers quarterbacks have completed 69.9 percent of the passes on which they targeted Brown. That ranks 18th among those whose primary position is wide receiver, but of the 17 players ahead of him, only three (Larry Fitzgerald, Keenan Allen and Jeremy Maclin) are within 50 catches of the 116 Brown has this season.
Seven of Brown’s nine touchdowns have come on throws that were no more than nine yards beyond the line of scrimmage (as his first score was on Sunday).
But Brown extending his range paid off in a big way.
Brown’s second touchdown on Sunday (which put the Steelers ahead) was anomalous, coming on a Ben Roethlisberger throw that was 22 yards downfield. It was the longest throw turned into a touchdown by Brown this season. Roethlisberger’s previous eight passes to Brown in this game went no more than 13 yards downfield.