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Best Wide Receiver in AFC North

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The AFC North lost a few good receivers this season in Josh Gordon and Torrey Smith. Who is the top pass catcher now in the division? A.J. Green?

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Coley Harvey at ESPN asked a question today to the other beat writers in the division: Is A.J. Green the best wide receiver in the AFC North?

For me, this is a two horse race between Green and Antonio Brown of the Steelers. When you compare the stats for each player's career, you see they are both similar in their production. One key thing to remember is Green has one fewer season than Brown for his totals.

Catches Yards Average Long Touchdowns
A.J. Green 329 4,874 14.8 82 35
Antonio Brown 390 5,259 13.5 79 28

The extra yards and catches for Brown can be attributed to the extra year of play he has in the league. The interesting thing to note is how Green boasts seven more touchdowns in one less year.

Of course, there are other very important factors that come into play in comparison to the two players. One could argue Brown had more talent at the QB position getting him the ball. The Steelers also boasted other players in Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders to either spread the ball around to or take pressure off the 5'10'' wide out. Green on the other hand has been the no doubt number one guy for the Bengals and had Andy Dalton as his quarterback, who is no Ben Roethlisberger.

Some of the sentiments above were shared in Harvey's piece. Jeremy Fowler of the Pittsburgh beat thinks Green passes the eyeball test as the better guy, but points to the strength of Brown's last two seasons for giving him the edge.

Jamison Hensley on the Ravens beat still thinks Green is the better player. He gives a nod to Browns numbers, but states "Football Outsiders indicated that Andy Dalton hit Green in the chest less than 45 percent of the time (the league average was 50 percent) and Green caught 38 percent of his passes on throws above his neck. You can make an argument that Green is the most gifted receiver in the NFL." Hensley also recalls the two huge plays Green had in different games against Baltimore, which kept the Bengals in the fight. The first being the 51 yard Hail Mary to tie the game and the second the 77 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to secure a win.

Pat McManamon on the Browns beat claims it's a close race but ultimately gives the edge to Brown based on his recent numbers. He does reference the amazing talent A.J. Green has but docs him on his sub-par 2014.

Who do you think is the best wide receiver in the AFC North?