Steelers’ Bell, Brown Utilizing Touches Unlike Anyone In NFL

Those who viewed the Pittsburgh Steelers victory over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday witnessed a fair share of notable firsts. For the first time this season, the Chiefs were defeated. But just how does an insurmountable Chiefs team fall to a Steelers’ team that was coming off its worse home loss in over a decade? Career games from Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, that’s how.

While the Steelers are accustomed to seeing Brown and Bell seesaw off each other, both played a huge role in the Steelers’ victory Sunday. For the first time in their careers, Brown exceeded 150 receiving yards and Bell rushed for over 150 yards in the same game. A beautiful sight for the Steelers’ faithful and a frightening one for opposing defenses. Sunday’s performance will keep defensive coordinators scrambling as they fumble with a terrifying fear.

“How can I stop both when I can hardly stop one?”

The truth is there may not be an answer to that as the Steelers have used Bell and Brown unlike any other team has utilized their own weapons this season. Bell leads the league in rushing attempts and touches, and even after his slow start, the Steelers’ running back is third in the league in rushing yards with 550. More importantly, the Steelers are a perfect 15-0 when Bell rushes for 23 or more times during a game.

Brown has also maintained his throne atop the NFL’s receiving leaderboard. The Steelers’ receiver leads the league in receptions (48) and receiving yards (700). Brown has not just beaten his competition, but he has overlapped them. The closest threat to Brown’s receiving yardage is Bengals’ receiver A.J. Green, who is still 196 yards shy of Brown.

Where Brown relates closely to Bell is his utilization of his touches. Brown leads the league in yards per touch with 13.8 yards per touch, a full yard better than his closest competitor. The duo are also fourth and fifth respectively in yards from scrimmage, with Bell tallying 706 yards and Brown just behind with 700 yards. No other team in the league has two players with even 500 yards of scrimmage apiece.

The Steelers offense has racked up 2098 yards this season, Bell and Brown have combined for 67-percent of the team’s offensive yardage. In their victory Sunday, the Steelers showed exactly why the tandem have been heavily relied on for two-thirds of the offensive production, as both Bell and Brown were able to take over the game like only they can.

As the Chiefs learned, stopping one of the two is a challenging task on its own, but being asked to stop both is an almost impossible one.

About the Author

Daniel Valente
Steelers fan from birth, spending majority of my free time looking up statistics. Had the honor of meeting Mike Vanderjagt shortly after his infamous missed field goal in the 2005 Divisional Round. Currently pursuing a Journalism degree. Follow me on Twitter @StatsGuyDaniel
  • srdan

    gotta love finney in that picture. This team is coming around.

  • Charles Mullins

    If they start hooking up on the long ball…. Gonna be a good year.

  • treeher

    Now all we have to do is score some more points …

  • colingrant

    Steelers had a double hand in Bell moving up the league’s rushing leader stats. Defensively by limiting Hunt to 13 yards or whatever the amount was, and offensively by blocking for him, Bell has pulled within a reasonable 80 yards of taking the lead. Prior to the game it was over 200 yards if I recall. Lots of ground made up.

  • NW86

    Very true. Despite the gaudy production from those two, this offense as a whole isn’t performing that great (the Defense is quietly overperforming, but doesn’t get much love for it) Back to the offense – It would help if we got more contributions from other receivers (whether that’s their fault or Ben’s).

  • PapaJuju

    Not going to be a popular opinion, but we have to keep Bell. Him and Brown are more important to the Steeler’s success than Roethlisberger at this point.

  • Intense Camel

    Yea, would be nice if Ben took a Brady contract.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I don’t know if two guys accounting for 2/3 of your offence is a super bowl winning recipe though.

  • Intense Camel

    Yup, fair criticism in my opinion. Sure they’re winning but if this offense can’t break 30 points then they’re in trouble. The defense isn’t going to shut down every team. The offense needs to play like the 100 million they’re worth.

  • Intense Camel

    That’s been the biggest problem with the scoring output. The RZ problems weren’t much of a problem in years past because they used to score on big plays all the time. Now that the big plays aren’t there, RZ conversions are a much bigger factor.

  • Intense Camel

    Think it’s time for him to replace Ramon with Finney? We always seem to run better when he’s in. Like way better. Ramon is way too slow to pull and as a guard that severely limits the runs game.

  • Sdale

    Yep. Our ability to score from way out hid some real deficiencies we’ve had in the RZ for a while now. Hope we get both straightened out. It sure seems like we have the weapons to do that now.

  • Intense Camel

    At least one of the two need to be fixed, and fast.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I agree we should keep Bell, I don’t agree they are more important than Ben tho. Ppl don’t understand when Ben does retire having Bell is going to help us transition to our next QB.

  • TsarPepe

    It’s only a problem if you find a way to stop them.

  • TsarPepe

    Hunt is great young talent. Bell is a transcendent talent, who is redefining RB.

  • thomas hmmmm

    I think Conner could do a good enough job replacing Bell, but I don’t think we have any receivers who could come close to replacing Brown. I also think MB takes a lot of pressure off of Brown because he is a legit threat, even though he hasn’t done anything this season, yet.
    This is if you are referring to injury.
    Even so Conner has shown explosiveness when spelling Bell, even when Bell hasn’t looked good.

  • thomas hmmmm

    Well the last transcendent talent at RB sure looked good on sunday! That being AP of course.

  • thomas hmmmm

    The game plan of ball control and power football is exactly what this team and D needs. The switch to a power run game is what made D improve so much last season. What is good about 30 if they are losing in the TOP category and the D is tired and giving up 28?
    With the speed on D you want them to be as rested and fresh as possible. That is what is best for the entire team.
    I don’t know about you but I am not ready to totally trust the D yet. I am at about 70% trust level with the D.

  • Intense Camel

    I understand that but just because you’re a power run doesn’t mean you’re exempt from having to score points. You can control the clock and still score points. They’re just not doing it.

  • Applebite

    If they can stop Haley from making silly calls, at the worse time possible…

  • PaeperCup

    Fat white man wants in on that action.

  • Ian Carman

    These numbers are awesome, but Ben HAS to spread the ball around.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Not likely – supposedly one of the reasons for Brady’s contract is that Giselle is a multi-millionaire herself. I don’t think Ben’s wife is bringing in that type of money.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Yup, and, fact is, they haven’t been too far off. It’s not like the issue is unfixable.

  • MC

    We’ve all seen the formula for success for awhile now, the games they’ve lost is when the coaches try and get too cute and stray from it.
    Get Nix on the field more, establish the run, utilize the playaction pass after establishing it, run more heavy sets whether passing or running to keep the D honest.
    It’s just so simple that it makes you scratch your head when you watch games like the Jags/Bears.
    AS for the defense. Stop the run, tackle the catch, pressure the QB.


    No way man!!! We’re still working on firing the coaching staff!! 😁

    I agree. In our own ponderous way, we ARE starting to come around.

    But don’t expect the ‘fire so-n-so’ bunch to agree!


    I would have to think that you are correct but only when Foster’s contract is up.


    That has been the problem with the 30 point per game bunch – lotsa yards and accolades but not many points.


    My only concern is that, even though he is young, he’s on a pace for what? A million carries this season?
    You know Coach T’s propensity for riding a horse til it drops!


    Yup. But you know, how much money do you need? BB has plenty i’m sure.
    One would think rings would mean more to him at this stage.


    Brady and Edelman.


    The only team that can beat us if we are on is us.


    Yes the OC can’t get out of his players way.
    We have heard how we had to pass vs Jags cuz they stacked the box but it was almost like that was preordained in Haley and Tomlins’ mind. If we had stuck with the run we may have been able to do what we did in KC when we played the Jags.

  • Hulie04

    This is the team that could win a Super Bowl. All they have to do is continue to get better.

  • Brenton deed

    And no serious injuries

  • Brenton deed

    Don’t forget Martavis got a LOT of attention.

  • MC

    Exactly. stacking the box doesn’t always mean must pass. If everyone executes their blocking assignments, big gains can be had once Bell gets into the second level.

  • gentry_gee

    What the hell you talking about they only put up 17 points as an offense. Nothing to be fearful of at all.

  • Dan

    If the defense can play like it did in the first 54 minutes on Sunday, there will be more touches to go around for everybody on offense.

  • Dan

    One would think, but it seems that logic is more prevelant amongst fans than players. Wealth begets greed unfortunately.

  • thomas hmmmm

    Yea I understand.. I think they would be better served running a little more when inside the 5 yard line, but for some reason that is when they want to pass, pass, pass.