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Brown’s Clutch Grab Keys the Steelers Amazing Playoff Finish

At the end of the day, it was the offensive play of the season at a time the team needed it the most. And of course it came from a player who early on in the season couldn’t even get on the active roster on Sunday’s.

But that’s all behind Antonio Brown, whose 58-yard catch to the Ravens four-yard line set up the game-clinching touchdown for the Steelers in their 31-24 win over the Ravens to send them to the AFC Title game.

Brown’s catch was huge, as it came on a 3rd-and-19 when it appeared the Steelers may have to punt the ball away which could have allowed the Ravens a chance to win the game in the final seconds.

It was not to be. The play was nothing more than a simple shot down the field, and it was one that Ben Roethlisberger asked for when he and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians talked about it before they ran it.

“Let’s just chuck it deep,” Roethlisberger told Arians just before he threw his biggest pass of the season. “If they pick it, it will be a pick way down there, just as good as a punt. … I just throw it as far as I can.’ “

And it worked. Brown got just enough seperation away from Ravens CB Lardarius Webb, and he was able to pull the ball in on a perfect throw. He ended up holding the ball against his helmet as he went out of bounds at the four.

“It was kind of amazing,” Brown said. “It kind of stuck to my shoulder.”

What’s more amazing is the guy who made the play. Brown had just 16 catches all season for 167 yards with one TD, and that came on a kickoff return to start the teams week two win in Tennessee.

It again shows just how much depth the Steelers do have at positions, as well as a big kudos to the scouting department that snagged Brown in the 6th round of the 2010 draft out of Central Michigan.

None of that mattered when the pretty pass landed in his arms and then shoulder as he made sure to have total control as he went out of bounds.

“It’s third-and-19, the game’s on the line, and the clock is real low, and we were in need of a play,” said Brown, who finished with three receptions for a game-high 75 yards. “Ben made a great throw and stuck it right on me, and I was able to come through with the catch. It was a great play.”

It also shows the confidence the coaches have in their two-time Super Bowl winning QB to try such a throw instead of just playing it safe and then punting, which would have shifted all the pressure to the Steelers D.

“It’s Ben. You give this guy an opportunity to snap it; he’s capable of producing plays,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, “It’s not always how you draw it up, but he has a no-blink mentality. He is a competitor and a winner. And those guys follow him.”

And they did, and for that, Brown and the Steelers, it paid off in the biggest of ways. “I feel like we have a lot of quality guys, clutch guys who don’t blink in any type of situations,” Steelers receiver Mike Wallace said of Brown. “That’s big, for him to make that catch. It was third-and-19, and Ben put it out there, and AB caught it with one hand. It was crazy, but that’s the type of plays we need to go to the Super Bowl.”

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. jack daniel

    January 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm

  2. DrGeorge

    January 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Mark, George H, The Tony and others have commented on how our receiving corps has matured over the course of this season. The game saving catch by Brown illustrates not only how much trust Ben has in his receivers, but in how prescient the front office was in drafting Sanders and Brown. And Ward and Miller, our old reliables, each made a crucial TD catch. Ben now spreads the ball around so well that defenses cannot shut down one receiver without giving up scores to someone else. The only dropped pass of consequence was Sanders bobble after catching a sure first down pass; that seemed a very big drop at the time, but Brown’s heroics made Sanders drop a footnote. Hopefully, in the next game, Sanders will be the hero. We like to spread it around.

  3. pablito

    January 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    First, I would like to thank the Lord Jesus for divine intervention and the Steelers win. There are may believers including Troy Palomalu who is constantly praying through each game. I am very happy about the acquisition of Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. They are a great addition to the Steelers. In addition, I really like the new Wide Receiver coach, Scottie Montgomery that Tomlin brought in. He is making a huge difference and will only get better.

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