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After the Steelers, which NFL team boasts the best offensive trio in football? SI.com


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Friday June 23rd, 2017
 

There’s no question as to which team boasts the best offensive trio in football. The Pittsburgh Steelers, with two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell, have been among the most dominant offensive players the past three seasons. Roethlisberger has been in the top-five in passing yards per game in two of the three seasons, while Brown has been top-five in receiving yards three times in that span and Bell has placed in the top five in rushing yards twice.

It speaks more to NFL media’s lack of creativity that we have yet to give them a name better than “best triplets in the NFL.”

But which trio is second-best in the NFL today? About a month away from the start of training camps, at least four teams could lay claim to having the second-best set of triplets in the NFL going into the 2017 season. With Pittsburgh at No. 1, here’s a look at Nos. 5–2.

 

2. Atlanta Falcons: QB Matt Ryan, RB Devonta Freeman, WR Julio Jones

The Falcons have the league MVP at quarterback, one of the most freakish talents at wide receiver and one of the best young backs in the game whose gaudy numbers the past two seasons would be even better if he didn’t have to split carries. The Falcons’ triplets are the best of the rest in the league.

Former Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan unlocked Ryan’s full potential, and it’ll be up to Ryan and new OC Steve Sarkisian to repeat as one of the top-ten offenses in NFL history in terms of scoring. Jones has been in the top-three in receiving yards in each of the past three seasons (despite multiple foot injuries), including 1,871 yards in 2015 that is second-most all-time.

And Freeman is the only rusher with 1,000 yards in both 2015 and ’16, and his totals would have likely been hired if he wasn’t sharing backfield duties with the excellent Tevin Coleman. Freeman’s 11 touchdowns in 2015 were the most in the NFL, and he followed that up with 11 more last season. His nearing contract extension will further solidify his place as one of the best young backs in the game.

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Yeah, I've been having this debate in Facebook all day. Matt is head and shoulders better than Ben right now, Julio is slightly better than Brown and Freeman is a lot closer to Bell than people seem to think. Brown also disappears without Ben and Matt is very durable. I'll take our guys personally

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26 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

Just as many as the Falcons but the Falcons need to show they can sustain excellence

Historically they haven't been good at that.

Yeah I was just pointing out they can't really play the ring card because Ben is the only one that has them.

The way I look at it, Ben and Matt are pretty much a wash.  Bell > Free (or Teco) and Julio > Brown so they are pretty even in my mind.  The "no question" part just seemed very silly to me.  It's very much open for debate.

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17 minutes ago, Lornoth said:

No way is Dallas better than either us or the Steelers. None of their top three are better than either of the other top three's. 

Not yet, but two of their guys were rookies...be interesting to see how Zeke and Prescott progress v regress in year 2...

and I've never thought Ben was an elite QB......and bell's had 2 good/great seasons out of 4....

Homer me says Atlanta/Dallas/ pitt

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Rings and history. It's always factored in like it matters on the field. Ben isn't Ben anymore. I'd say the Steelers are two because Ben is sliding and Matt had a better season by far last year. Julio/Free and Brown/Bell are a wash. It comes down to the QBs and most people will take Ben because of the early 2000s, not 2017. 

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9 minutes ago, vel said:

Rings and history. It's always factored in like it matters on the field. Ben isn't Ben anymore. I'd say the Steelers are two because Ben is sliding and Matt had a better season by far last year. Julio/Free and Brown/Bell are a wash. It comes down to the QBs and most people will take Ben because of the early 2000s, not 2017. 

Yup.  They look at history, which is fine.  If someone asked who you are taking right now for THIS season It'd be Ryan, Bell and Julio so Falcons > 

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2 hours ago, athell said:

Yeah I was just pointing out they can't really play the ring card because Ben is the only one that has them.

The way I look at it, Ben and Matt are pretty much a wash.  Bell > Free (or Teco) and Julio > Brown so they are pretty even in my mind.  The "no question" part just seemed very silly to me.  It's very much open for debate.

Ok then how about this?

How many winning seasons has the Steelers trio produced vs the Falcons?

I love the Falcons but as it stands we're only talking about one winning season.

When the Falcons show they can do it consistently then they might get respect... and I say might because it's going to be hard to overcome the Super Choke perception nationally.

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11 hours ago, fuego said:

The same Steelers where Big ben threw for 3 TDs in the playoffs and Matt had 9? Ben had 4 INTs and Matt none? Ben threw for an average of 245 yards a game and Matt 338? Ben had an 82.6 QBR and Matt 135.3? Those Steelers? 

^^^^ Too much sense being made here.

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1 hour ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

Ok then how about this?

How many winning seasons has the Steelers trio produced vs the Falcons?

I love the Falcons but as it stands we're only talking about one winning season.

When the Falcons show they can do it consistently then they might get respect... and I say might because it's going to be hard to overcome the Super Choke perception nationally.

Well Free has only been here for 3 years, one of which was the Smitty/Koetter era behind SJax so I won't hold that against him.

2 years ago, the trio was pretty successful but in a new system with new coaches is always hard.

Last year obviously was amazing.

You sound pretty bitter about the SB loss, which I can't blame you but the problem with the Falcons has not been with our 3 headed monster.

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I'd probably go Falcons. Ryan/Jones/Freeman. I'm fine with the Steelers being ahead though. Ben for years was considered just a step under the Brady/Manning/Rodgers/Brees elite level. Ryan is sort of just getting recognized for his level of play after the past season. Brown and Jones are neck and neck and the last couple of years a lot of people would have said Brown was the best WR in football, whereas people are starting to give Jones the not on that. Then Bell is clearly the best and most versatile running back in the league and I don't think there is anybody you could argue over him. Bell's the difference maker to me. 

Falcons I probably put 2nd on the list.

After that it's either Carr/Cooper/Lynch or Prescott/Bryant/Elliot, but those two groups have some question marks (whether Lynch comes back in full form and if the two rookies can follow up with a good sophomore year.

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