Antonio Brown had a frustrating Sunday at Heinz Field during Pittsburgh's 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. While he set the NFL record by becoming the fastest player in league history to reach 750 career receptions, Brown failed to gain a consistent rapport with Ben Roethlisberger, who instead had more success with second year receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Brown also endured a trying week off of the field, as he was forced to issue an apology after physically threatening an ESPN writer on social media.
Brown finished the game with nine receptions for only 67 yards. He was eclipsed by JuJu Smith-Schuster who finished with 13 receptions for 121 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. It was clear the Chiefs’ goal was to double Brown all game long and it was wise to look elsewhere.
As unhappy as he was with how the game went, Brown still set another milestone as the fastest player to record 750 catches in a career, but this does not seem like something he will be celebrating on Sunday given his mood.
Brown losing his cool on the sideline is nothing new. Brown, an All-Pro each of the last four seasons, routinely wears his emotions on his sleeve and sometimes, that gets the best of him. Last year, in a Week 4 victory in Baltimore, Brown threw a Gatorade cooler out of frustration, an action that he later apologized for on social media. He was reprimanded for those actions by head coach Mike Tomlin during that week during his weekly press conference.
While some may argue that Brown's sideline antics is a sign of passion, it also can be looked at as a player coming unglued when his team needs him to remain cool and collected. Regardless, it's clear that Brown and some of his offensive coaches are not on the same page two weeks into the 2018 regular season. This is something that obviously needs to be resolved before Pittsburgh's next game in Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers.
Nothing will create infighting like losing. And Sunday’s loss was a doozy. Maybe Brown thought forcing him the football would have done more but he didn’t notice how well the passing offense was working. We get it. Brown is a fiery guy, a competitor and all that. He’s also had a pretty awful week even before this game. Nevertheless, the optics on that are bad so early in the season.