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Ben Roethlisberger: A lot of guys stepped up with Antonio Brown out

Pittsburgh Steelers v Houston Texans

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 25: JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a 18 yard catch for a touchdown against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium on December 25, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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When the Steelers have wide receiver Antonio Brown in the lineup, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks his way almost 12 times a game.

They didn’t have Brown in Houston on Monday, which meant that Roethlisberger was spreading the ball around a bit more. He targeted five different players at least four times and completed passes to six different receivers in the 34-6.

Roethlisberger said after the game that it was “fun to spread the ball around” and the team got key plays from JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant, Vance McDonald and Justin Hunter over the course of the afternoon.

“I was thinking of AB not being out there and trying to fill those shoes,” Roethlisberger said. “You can’t fill [Brown’s] shoes. I told them don’t try to fill them, just be the best you can be. And I thought everybody did a great job of it tonight.”

Those guys will get another chance to spread their wings in Week 17 with designs on getting Brown back for their first playoff game. Thanks in part to the job the wideouts did on Monday, that won’t come until the divisional round.