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The credit are rolling for the Killer B’s technology in Pittsburgh, and this movie has a tragic ending.
When the brand new league one year launches Wednesday, superstar Steelers huge receiver Antonio Brown will officially change into a member of the Oakland Raiders. No longer long after that, superstar working lend a hand Le’Veon Bell will signal with one other team.
The band has broken up, all over again leaving 37-one year-dilapidated future Hall of Popularity quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as a solo artist in Allegheny County. Gargantuan Ben became as soon as there when Brown and Bell arrived in 2010 and 2013, respectively, and he stays there to wave goodbye to them in 2019.
Now, Roethlisberger, the Steelers and their followers are left to dwell on what would possibly possibly possible well were. The Killer B’s wasted a a lot different to fabricate history, as the Steelers obtained correct three playoff video games and made correct one AFC Championship Game right thru the six years Ben, Brown and Bell had been together.
Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown shaped one among the most talented, done quarterback-working lend a hand-huge receiver trios in NFL history, and for sure the most favorite one since the Dallas Cowboys‘ “triplets” from the 1990s.
That Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin attack obtained three Gargantuan Bowls in a 4-one year span. In 10 seasons together, they earned a mixed 17 Expert Bowl nods and had been first-team All-Pros on a mixed 5 conditions.
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In correct six seasons together, Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown earned a mixed thirteen Expert Bowl nods and had been first-team All-Pros on a mixed six conditions.
In other words, apart from for team accolades, an argument would possibly possibly possible well be made that this trio became as soon as primarily more done than the legendary Dallas grouping.
To search out a QB-RB-WR trio with mixed particular person accolades that trump these belonging to Ben, Bell and Brown, you would possibly possibly possible well possibly even have gotta soar lend a hand almost one other decade for the Joe Montana-Roger Craig-Jerry Rice unit from the 1985-1990 San Francisco 49ers.
That gang additionally spent exactly six seasons together, it additionally earned exactly thirteen Expert Bowl nods, but Montana, Craig and Rice mixed for 9 All-Expert honors. They additionally teamed up for two Gargantuan Bowl wins.
Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed made a mixed sixteen Expert Bowls over a 9-one year span, but they mixed for top three All-Expert nods. Silent, that Buffalo Bills team obtained a file 4 consecutive conference title video games between 1990 and 1993.
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Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce didn’t have the staying vitality of Ben, Bell and Brown, but that trio aloof made two Gargantuan Bowls (and obtained one) right thru their 5 seasons along with the St. Louis Rams on the turn of the century.
John Elway, Terrell Davis and Rod Smith obtained two Gargantuan Bowls together for the Denver Broncos, whereas Steve Younger, Ricky Watters and Rice obtained a championship together in San Francisco earlier that decade.
The level, obviously, is that virtually all of the fantastic triplet-like combos have skilled broad success in the playoff bewitch column.
Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison—who, like Pittsburgh’s trio, mixed for six All-Expert honors apart from in a seven-one year span—didn’t elevate a Vince Lombardi Trophy together, but Manning and Harrison did so correct a one year after James’ 2005 departure.
Bill Bender @BillBender92
Is Gargantuan Ben-Bell-Brown the most fantastic QB-RB-WR combination to not bewitch a Gargantuan Bowl together? Kelly-Thomas-Reed is more healthy, nonetheless or not it’s closer than I mediate it’s a ways.
There need to not any authentic active comparisons to Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown. The Atlanta Falcons (Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones), Los Angeles Chargers (Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen) and Novel Orleans Saints (Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas) are the correct other teams in the league which have despatched a quarterback, a working lend a hand and a enormous receiver to various Expert Bowls right thru a shared stretch in the final six years, and never one among these trios has a music file just like the one dissolving in Pittsburgh.
Basically, that Ryan-Freeman-Jones trio is the correct one in the league with greater than half of as many mixed Expert Bowl nods as Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown.
The jury additionally stays out on these groupings, and that Falcons trio has as a minimal obtained an NFC Championship Game.
Meanwhile, now we have a verdict on the Killer B’s. Their mixed particular person accomplishments are extra special and even per chance extra special, looking on the metric being dilapidated. But they didn’t earn it done when it mattered, which is why we will never mediate on Ben, Bell and Brown the vogue we ogle lend a hand on Aikman, Smith and Irvin, or Montana, Craig and Rice.
Funnily ample, the greatest obstacle to high-heavy Pittsburgh’s success right thru the Killer B’s technology became as soon as a counterpart that hasn’t possessed anything such as triplets. Tom Brady has never had an All-Expert working lend a hand, and he hasn’t had an All-Expert or Expert Bowl huge receiver since 2012. However the Steelers’ triplets had been in the depraved web negate on the depraved time simply because they resided in the AFC alongside the most embellished dynasty in NFL history.
Brady’s Novel England Patriots payment the Steelers a first-spherical bye in 2014 (they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Wild Card Round); the Pats beat the Steelers in the correct AFC Championship Game of Bell’s occupation in 2016 (it became as soon as a 36-17 blowout in Foxborough); after which they payment Pittsburgh the No. 1 seed in 2017 (the Steelers lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional spherical).
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There would possibly possibly be no telling what form of ruin the Steelers would possibly possibly possible well possibly need done over the final six years if not for the existence of Brady and Bill Belichick.
It additionally didn’t lend a hand that Bell and Brown as soon as in a whereas weren’t there for Ben. No longer top did Bell take a seat out the whole 2018 campaign because a contract dispute, but knee accidents additionally kept him off the arena for lend a hand-to-lend a hand playoff runs in 2014 and 2015, and he became as soon as suspended for the first three video games of the 2016 season for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse coverage.
And when the Steelers lost to the Broncos in the 2015 divisional spherical, they didn’t have Bell or Brown after the latter suffered a concussion right thru a wild-card victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Altogether, including the playoffs, Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown neglected a mixed forty 9 video games right thru their six seasons together.
If not for a potpourri of accidents, suspensions and contract disputes, possible we would possibly possibly possibly be eulogizing the Killer B’s in a a lot less solemn trend. Hell, possible we wouldn’t be eulogizing them at all.
Maybe, if the Steelers had skilled more playoff success recently, they’d were curious to fall down to Bell’s calls for on an extended-interval of time contract final offseason. Maybe beneath these circumstances, Brown don’t have change into so disenchanted as to foyer aggressively for the change that became as soon as reportedly performed this weekend, per Expert Soccer Talk’s Mike Florio.
We’ll never know. But we construct are mindful about it wouldn’t be beautiful to pin these disasters on a lack of abet. Expert Soccer Focal level, which has ranked the Steelers offensive line among the many NFL’s most fantastic for a lot of the Killer B’s technology, graded that unit No. 1 in football in 2018.
And whereas the defense isn’t what it dilapidated to be, the Steelers have ranked at or above the league median (and never worse than 18th) by formula of issues allowed in 5 of the final six seasons. They’ve had plenty of weapons on that facet of the ball—namely in the front seven—and their defensive-minded head coach, Mike Tomlin, has a Gargantuan Bowl bewitch on his resume.
RIP Killer B’s technology 2013-2019: accidents, substance abuse suspensions, FB/IG are living movies, a contract holdout, Three playoff wins, Zero Lombardi’s. AB, Bell, Bryant became two Third’s & a Fifth spherical take dangle of. 🎪🔥🎪🔥🎪🔥 @steelers
As this technology ends in Pittsburgh, Steelers followers would possibly possibly possible well wonder about an alternate actuality in which Bell became as soon as tougher and he and Brown had been on higher phrases with management—a parallel universe in which Pittsburgh paid to abet these two gratified, and per chance one in which Belichick and Brady retired in 2012.
In that world, the Killer B’s are a ways more historically favorite, the Steelers have confidence greater than six Lombardi Trophies and Pittsburgh doesn’t owe $21.1 million to rival team’s No. 1 receiver.
But hope springs eternal in the cyclical NFL, too, and there correct would possibly possibly possible well be a universe in which James Conner turns into higher than Bell in the backfield and JuJu Smith-Schuster causes Steelers followers to neglect about Brown.
It be that you just would possibly possibly possible well possibly also imagine that’s this universe, and that the next movie would possibly possibly possible well have a happier ending than the one we correct watched.
Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL for Bleacher Represent since 2012.