It was July, and Brandon Marshall was feeling optimistic about the upcoming season for his Jets. And why not? The team had just brought back Ryan Fitzpatrick, who set a franchise record in 2015 for touchdown passes en route to helping Marshall post a 1,500-yard, 14-touchdown season.
Yes, that’s Marshall, saying in a July video that he wanted to put up his Porsche against Brown’s Rolls-Royce, with the winner being determined either in a street race or by whoever had the most receiving yards in the upcoming season. There’s still one game left to play, one in which the Steelers, locked into the AFC’s No. 3 seed, will likely rest Brown, but he has every reason to declare himself the victor.
Even if Brown has zero receiving yards Sunday, Marshall would need to rack up 497 in the Jets’ season finale to pass him, such is the gap between them (the NFL’s single game record is 336 receiving yards, set by the Rams’ Flipper Anderson in 1989). While Brown has spent yet another year among the leaders in most major categories at wide receiver, Marshall has had a disastrously poor campaign, leaving him 44th in the NFL with 788 receiving yards (Brown ranks fourth with 1,284).
In fairness, much of Marshall’s struggles can be laid at the feet, or arms, of Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty, who have combined to give the Jets the league’s worst team passer rating (65.2). On the other hand, Marshall should have had more of a sense that the 34-year-old Fitzpatrick, an undistinguished journeyman on his sixth team, might crash back to Earth.
Even while crowing over Marshall’s poorly conceived wager, Brown proved to be a good sport about it, suggesting that rather than take possession of the Porsche, the expensive vehicle could be donated to Project 375. That’s Marshall’s charitable foundation to help people suffering from mental illnesses, one he helped set up after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2011.
So far, Marshall has not publicly responded to Brown’s tweet. If the Steelers star does wind up with the Porsche, he seems likely to give it a new paint job, taking the green stripes off in favor of more of a black-and-gold look, if his Rolls is any indication.