Killer Bs Sting Dolphins Defense In Postseason Debut

Yesterday morning, I asked the question about whether or not the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Killer Bs—their offensive triplets consisting of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and running back Le’Veon Bell—would dominate the way that they ought to in their debut postseason game, given that they had never gotten the opportunity to do so in their first three seasons together.

I think we got a pretty emphatic answer from that group in their 30-12 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Both Brown and Bell scored twice in the game, which is the first time in their playing time together in which both were able to score multiple touchdowns in the same game.

Although the game didn’t exactly end the way that Roethlisberger would have cared for—he ended up throwing two interceptions and injuring his ankle at a stage in the game in which many, perhaps the majority, believe he should have been on the sideline—he was impressive early on, and commanded the offense.

He completed his first 10 or 11 passes in the first half for the vast majority of his 197 yards, but he only threw a total of 18 passes over the course of the entire game, understanding based on the scoreboard and the overall feel that the reliance upon the run game was warranted.

Roethlisberger said after the game that he was given a lot of run-pass options, and he frequently chose the run option—which was a good call, considering that Bell had statistically the best day as a runner in the postseason in franchise history.

Bell finished the game with 167 rushing yards on 29 carries—adding another seven yards on two receptions—and two touchdowns in the first postseason game of his career. In doing so, he broke Franco Harris’ 42-year old franchise record when he ran for 158 yards back in 1975.

He picked up chunks at a time during his best period of the game, including a pair of explosive runs of 25 and 26 yards, but it was Brown who had the most explosive impact, as his early performance in the first quarter set the tone for the remainder of the game.

The Steelers’ first two drives were short ones, because Brown shortened them for the offense. From the 50-yard line, he took a screen pass the distance up the left sideline after manipulating the defenders to allow his blockers to get into place.

On the next drive, from Pittsburgh’s 38-yard line, he beat the cornerback to the inside, making him miss on the tackle attempt before turning the corner around the safety, going the distance for 62. His two touchdowns of at least 50 yards in the first eight minutes outscored the Dolphins all told on the day.

Of course, there is a mild sense of foreboding heading into next week’s game against the Chiefs, because Roethlisberger suffered an ankle injury late, as mentioned. The Steelers have had an awfully difficult time keeping their trio healthy in the playoffs, or for the playoffs, in recent years. But for this game, as least, the Killer Bs stung their opponents.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Brendon Glad

    I love the increase in LB 7 yards deep taking handoffs from earlier in the year. I begged for it, and Haley has delivered it.
    That 10 play 78 yard drive was something that is almost impossible to pull off in today’s NFL. Like seriously, I was having to think of 1 drive in my senior year of H.S. football..Or Tom Osborne Huskers type of things. That’s how rare a drive like that was in my mind. But it’s absolutely the correct mindset to have.
    L.B. is the greatest RB I’ve ever seen. He is not the greatest flanker I’ve ever seen. GREAT GAME PLANS, HALEY! You’ve been spot-on of late, sir!

  • gentry_gee

    What’s a flanker?

  • Brendon Glad

    A flanker is generally a WR not lined up on the line of scrimmage, and usually reserved for the widest WR not on the line of scrimmage.
    In a 3 Receiver set, the general names are Split End Receiver, Flanker Receiver, and Slot Receiver. Slot receiver is usually the closest to the QB of the 2 WR’s not on the line of scrimmage.
    Bell usually was a flanker, if I’m not mistaken, because split-ends can’t motion…but flankers can…so it kept the defense more honest in that he had the potential to motion back to Tailback.

  • Brendon Glad

    And my comment was based on that little stretch during the early-middle of the season where it seemed like Haley was so enamored with LB’s receiving skills, that he forgot just how relieved the defenses were when he did that. LB is a nightmare at RB. He is merely a nice weapon at WR. I choose “Go with creating the Nightmare for the opposing Def”…as a Steelers fan.