In the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 win Thursday night over the Houston Texans, running back Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 103 yards on 14 carries and that broke a Jaguars streak of 25 consecutive games without having a 100-yard rusher. Why is that significant? It now means the Pittsburgh Steelers hold the longest consecutive game streak in the NFL without a 100-yard rusher.
It’s been 20 games now since former Steelers running back Isaac Redman hit the century mark with his 26 carry, 147 yard performance last season in the win over the New York Giants back in Week 9 of the 2012 season.
On Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell will look to stop the streak from hitting 21 games. Bell, who practiced fully again on Thursday after suffering a concussion late in the Thanksgiving night loss to the Baltimore Ravens, enters the Sunday contest against the Dolphins with 528 yards rushing on 159 carries. His best rushing yardage game so far this season happened back in Week 7 when he rushed for 93 yards on 19 carries.
The Dolphins are team that the Steelers could have some success running against as they have allowed an average of 121.8 yards per game this season. In order for Bell to hit the century mark, however, he will have do it running behind the sixth different starting offensive line combination used by the Steelers this the season. That new combination will include Cody Wallace making his first career start at center and Mike Adams making his first start back at left tackle since he was benched following the Week 4 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
The last Steelers rookie running back to rush for 100 yards or more during a regular season game was Willie Parker when he registered 102 yards on 19 carries in the 2005 season finale win over the Buffalo Bills. Prior to Parker, you have to go all the way back to Week 14 of the 1994 season to find a rookie running back that rushed for 100 yards or more in a regular season game as that’s when Bam Morris rushed for 108 yards on 24 carries in the 38-15 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Should the Steelers not have a player rush for a 100 yards or more in the final four games of the regular season, it will be the first time that it’s happened since the 1969 season.