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, during the Pittsburgh Steelers' 28-26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the young receiver checked off another NFL career milestone.
Smith-Schuster, who caught five of eight targets for 84 yards, surpassed Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss as the youngest player in league history to reach 2,500 career receiving yards. Smith-Schuster is currently 22 years and 297 days old; 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 two consecutive losses to start the season. Pittsburgh is now 2-6 in their last eight games after starting the 2018 season at 7-2-1.
Smith-Schuster, despite his unit's lack of success thus far, 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 Week 1 loss to New England, 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."
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 have to wait another week to prove their naysayers wrong. In Sunday's loss to Seattle, the Steelers threw for just 180 yards. Ben Roethlisberger completed just eight of his 15 attempts before leaving the game with an elbow injury. Second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph went 12-of-19 for 112 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in his regular-season debut.