But Marshall is no chump. The Jets’ receiver quietly put together one of the league’s best receiving performances of 2015. Grabbing 109 passes for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns with Ryan Fitzpatrick as your quarterback is truly impressive.
At the least, he’s a worthy foe for a handful of games. Anything can happen. What if Ben Roethlisberger gets hurt again? What if Fitzpatrick decides to target Marshall 20 times a game?
Precedent says Brown will take the white Porsche that Marshall is offering by accumulating anything close to last year’s 1,834 receiving yards. But to make sure we’re not missing anything in this debate, ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini and myself went to the tape to find out. Cimini is answering from Marshall’s perspective, while I’ll handle Brown.
Who can least afford to lose the bet?
Fowler: Brown makes $3.25 million less than Marshall and would take a street-cred hit with a loss.
Cimini: Marshall is in better shape as he is due to make $9.5 million this season, plus a salary from Showtime for “Inside the NFL.”
Reason why each could win:
Fowler: Averaged 10 catches per game last season when Roethlisberger played.
Cimini: Averaged 12 targets per game; Fitzpatrick’s go-to guy.
Fowler: The deep corner route, impossible for a zone defense to stop.
Cimini: Dominates smaller corners on fade routes in the end zone.
Fowler: Brown is probably quicker, but Marshall has him on strength and height.
Cimini: Marshall dropped nearly 20 pounds in the offseason, down to a sleek 225. Fountain of youth?
Most notable off-the-field activity
Fowler: Proud father of four, prolific Snapchatter.
Cimini: Talking head for Showtime; advocate for mental-health awareness.
Fowler: Rolls. The paint job breaks the tie.
Cimini: For Marshall, it’s the Rolls. Tough to squeeze his 6-5 frame into a Porsche.