And at the right time too.
I said it last week and I’ll say it again now, Le’Veon Bell is the most lethal offensive weapon in the NFL. That includes all offensive positions, not just running back.
Bell ran for a Steelers single game franchise record 236 yards with 3 touchdowns versus the Buffalo Bills Sunday in the 27-20 victory. He also had 62 yards receiving on 4 catches.
As the Steelers need every win to keep pace for the AFC North title, to possibly be the division’s only playoff participant, the formula for winning is simple. Get the ball to number 26.
During Pittsburgh’s four game win streak, Bell has rushed for 236, 118, 120 and 146 yards. In a league where everyone is throwing the pig all over the field, Pittsburgh has decided to go throwback.
These type of performances are why fans have been disappointed he hasn’t played a full season in his career due to two suspensions and two major injuries.
Who knows what kind of offensive explosion would’ve happened if Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t thrown three interceptions on the day, one in the red zone on their first drive, and another on the fourth drive that set Buffalo up inside the red zone for their first touchdown of the game down 14-0.
The only unit that stopped the Steelers offense, was themselves. Or Roethlisberger if we want to point fingers.
But back to Bell, his 298 total yards from scrimmage were more than the 275 yards Keith Butler’s unit allowed to the Bills offense.
Speaking of defense, I’m loving what I’m watching lately. At the beginning of this season I never thought I’d say that. Hell, a month ago I wouldn’t have said it.
They’re blitzing more, which is resulting in more sacks. Sunday they got to Tyrod Taylor 5 times, 3 in the first quarter. They’re creating turnovers, even though William Gay’s pick 6 in the first quarter was called back due to a holding penalty, Artie Burns picked off Taylor later in the game to kill a Bills drive. And, they’re stopping the run better. The Bills had 67 yards for an average of 3.7 yards per carry in the game. A quarter of the way into the second stanza, Pittsburgh held them to -1 total yard.
Most importantly, the rookies in the secondary, Artie Burns and Sean Davis, along with Ross Cockrell aren’t allowing teams top receivers to light them up like in years past.
This is the type of Steelers football I grew up with, and expect. This is what won Super Bowls XL and XLIII, even though the offense gets the highlights on NFL Films, aside from the James Harrison pick 6. This type of defensive effort is what’s going to be needed if they’re going to make the playoffs and win a NFL record seventh Lombardi in February.
This team is clicking on all the right cylinders at the right time.
Next up, the Cincinnati Bengals in the Queen City. Kickoff is set for 1 pm.
- Mike Tomlin won his 100th game as coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Bell went over the 1,000 rushing mark for the 2nd time in his career.
- Even though Ben Roethlisberger had a terrible day, he moved past Vinny Testaverde into 10th place on the NFL’s Career Passing yards leaders list (46,249).