JuJu Smith-Schuster poised to break one of Randy Moss’ NFL records in Steelers’ Week 2 game vs. Seahawks

JuJu Smith-Schuster poised to break one of Randy Moss’ NFL records in Steelers’ Week 2 game vs. Seahawks

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JuJu Smith-Schuster checks off career milestones faster than some of us get through our grocery list. The first player to score five touchdowns before his 21st birthday? Check. Youngest player to amass 1,000 career receiving yards? Check. The first player to catch two 97-yard touchdown passes? JuJu checks that box, too. On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ young receiver has a chance to check off another NFL career milestone. 

According to Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews, Smith-Schuster needs 79 receiving yards to surpass Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss as the youngest player in league history to reach 2,500 career receiving yards. Smith-Schuster will be 22 years and 297 days old when the 0-1 Steelers face the 1-0 Seahawks this Sunday at Heinz Field. Moss was 22 years and 310 days old when he crossed the 2,500-yard barrier during the 1999 season. 

While individual milestones are nice, Smith-Schuster is focused on helping the Steelers right the ship after a 30-point loss in Foxboro in Pittsburgh’s season-opener. Guarded by Stephon Gilmore, New England’s top cornerback, Smith-Schuster caught six of eight targets for 78 yards while being the focus of the Patriots‘ defense. The Steelers’ secondary receivers failed to help open things up for JuJu, with wideouts Ryan Switzer, Donte Moncrief, James Washington and rookie Diontae Johnson combining to catch just 14 of 27 targets for 112 yards. 

Smith-Schuster, despite his unit’s lack of success last Sunday night, is confident Pittsburgh still has enough playmakers to get the job done. 

“We gotta make our plays when we have the ball,” he said after Pittsburgh’s 33-3 loss, via the team’s official website, “and when we’re in the red zone, we gotta score.” 

Smith-Schuster also doesn’t want to hear about the youth that currently exists on Pittsburgh’s offense. 

“I mean, I guess you could say that [we’re a young group],” he said. “I think that we’ve played enough time with each other. We know what we’re made of. We know what we’re capable of doing. It’s just the beginning of the season. It’s just the opener. We’re gonna learn from it, come back better and get better for next week.” 

Another narrative that Smith-Schuster doesn’t want to hear is the one about the Steelers missing Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Despite how bad his unit looked during their first game without the two former All-Pros, JuJu believes that the Steelers’ offense can still be one of the league’s most formidable groups. 

“People are always gonna talk about not having certain players that we had last year,” he said. “I think this year, the guys that we have here … we have so many guys that we just gotta make our plays.” 

Pittsburgh will look to make their plays Sunday against a Seattle defense that surrendered 418 yards and two touchdowns in their season-opening victory over Cincinnati. One player JuJu expects to see more playing time Sunday is Johnson, the receiver the Steelers drafted with the first pick they received from Oakland in exchange for Brown. 

“He’s been ready,” Smith-Schuster said of Johnson on Thursday, via Jim Wexell of 247Sports. “He’ll be getting time this week. He’ll play more this week.”

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