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NFL playoffs preview: Steelers offense isn't the same team without Antonio Brown

If the Steelers playmakers do not step up on Sunday, I do not think they have a chance to win on Sunday.

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It was announced on Friday that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been officially ruled out for Sunday's Divisional Round game between the Denver Broncos. This is a major blow to the Steelers offense and their chances of winning the game.

Obviously, when you take away a player who totaled 136 receptions for 1,834 yards, and 10 touchdowns from your offense it's never good. You hope that your other receivers can step up their game and help replace Brown's production on the team. Unfortunately for the Steelers, the guys at Pro Football Focus do not like the chances of that happening for them on Sunday.

the Steelers’ receiving corps minus Antonio Brown has not been great this season. Their next-best WR is Marcus Wheaton (75.4), and he has only produced average grades this year outside of one big week versus Seattle. Both WR Martavis Bryant (70.8) and TE Heath Miller (73.7) have had up-and-down seasons. Bryant had a positively graded game against Cincinnati, including an acrobatic, highlight-reel touchdown catch, but that was after two well below-average games to finish the regular season.

The stats paint the same picture as well. Brown has more than double the amount of catches than the second place Steeler(tight end Heath Miller with 60 receptions) and also more than double the amount of yards(Martavius Bryant has 756 yards). Bryant is also second on the team with 6 touchdown receptions.

The Steelers are going to be relying on Martavius Bryant and Markus Wheaton to be the starters at receiver on Sunday. If you combine their 2015 stats, they have fewer catches and yards than Brown. When you combine the two you get 94 receptions and 1,514 yards. That's 42 receptions and 320 fewer yards than Brown.

Even if you add Steelers would be third receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey's stats into the mix, they still would be 21 receptions and 6 yards behind Brown.

Yes, the Steelers three starting receivers combined stats will all be lower than Browns stats. This shows how well Brown was playing and how important he was to the success of this team.

I have my doubts that these three receivers will be much threat to the Broncos top-ranked defense. When Brown played, all the attention was on covering him, with him not there, will these guys still produce?

Martavius Bryant will probably take over Browns spot on the offense. This mean he will probably be double covered by Aqib Talib and a safety. Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby would then handle Markus Wheaton and Heyward-Bey. Neither of those two receivers should beat the Broncos(Plus Bey has stone hands).

I think the Broncos top-ranked defense will be able to handle an offense where their starting quarterback has an injury to his throwing shoulder and missing their top two playmakers on offense.

I know the Broncos will not overlook the Steelers, but if the offense can do their job, I think we will see the Broncos advance to the AFC Championship game.