Le’Veon Bell’s Strong Game Takes Back Seat To Epic Performances Of Ben And Brown

Considering the day that he had, we sure have not really talked a whole lot about the performance of running back Le’Veon Bell for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday over the Ravens. Of course, it might be somewhat understandable that his story could fall a bit to the wayside when you take into the equation the competing storylines from just the offensive side of the ball.

I mean, we merely saw quarterback Ben Roethlisberger become the first player in NFL history to throw for 500 or more yards on three separate occasions. And in none of those games was overtime a factor. In none of those games did he throw an interception, nor fumble. In none of those games did he lose.

Then there is Antonio Brown, the best wide receiver in football. Yeah, I went out on a limb and said it. He just added another 10-100 game to his career resume. In fact, he added another 200-yard game to his total, the only wide receiver in team history with multiple 200-yard games. Not many in NFL history have more than one.

But it was Bell doing the scoring. He had three touchdowns on the day, tying for him a career-high, scoring twice on the ground and again through the air. He had at 35-yard receiving touchdown last week in his second 100-yard receiving game of his career, and he added a 20-yard touchdown through the air against the Ravens.

Though it took him one extra game, as he only played in 12 last year, Bell matched his total scoring output from the previous season. He now has seven rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns, the same in each column that he had a year ago.

Bell had just 22 touches in total during the game, however, which is a light workload for the All-Pro running back. He had 13 carries and nine receptions just a week after having only 23 touches, though more skewed toward rushes. He had 32 touches the week before.

Courtesy of the long gains in recent weeks, he has made headway in improving his efficiency numbers through the air. Last year he posted a very healthy 8.2 yards per reception, and he has gotten up to 7.7 yards per reception this year after spending most of the year two years or more below that mark.

Still, he remains under the four-yard mark in yards per carry. If that keeps up and he continues to lead the league in rushing yards, he will be the first running back to do so while averaging fewer than four yards per rush in…a really long time.

Though he averaged fewer than four yards per rush against the Ravens, several of those carries came in inopportune situations, backed up toward their own goal line. He also had a one-yard touchdown run, which can slant a stat line on just 13 carries.

About the Author

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

    We’re gonna need Le’Veon to have a great game Sunday. The Pats usually do a great job neutralizing one of our weapons, and it’ll probably be Brown, so Bell has to make them pay

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    I don’t think they will stop brown they would have to double triple team him and not even double team stops em and that leaves juju Bryant man to man

  • treeher

    Even though he had far fewer touches, my impression is that he got beat up worse than most other games.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I honestly hope we come out Sunday passing the football. I think Bell is at his best catching out the backfield. Deon Sanders said you can’t win throwing 66 times. I’ll take that bet.

  • Charles Mullins

    That hit was scary.

  • Sam Clonch

    Maybe it’s Bryant’s turn to have a breakout game? I mean, Bell, Brown and Juju have already had theirs, several each actually. Would be the last thing the Pats see coming, lol! Lot of weapons, should be able to put points up. Will need them. Hoping for good news about Vance, but not holding my breath.

  • LHW

    This is the first time I can remember where all the key players had synergy – they hall had a great game and it all worked score wise. Too many times each can put up good good numbers but at inopportune times; Brown a 30 yard catch on 1st or second down 3 times a game on their side of the field before a 3 and out, Ben throws for 300 but can’t put them in the end zone, etc. They cannot perform independent of one another. If they work together as a team and make the right plays at the right time on offense they can put up enough points to win.

  • pittfan

    I’ve been pounding the table for Bambi to come up big but he keeps coming up short. Before the season is over though he will give us a monster performance.
    Book it!!

  • pittfan

    How bout 65? lol.

  • pittfan

    Malcolm Butler had done a pretty decent job on AB in the past. I do think J2S2, MB, and JJ will have big games, and Bell out of the backfield..

  • Sam Clonch

    Lol, Bambi

  • PapaJuju

    MB just doesn’t look right. He look slower, less athletic, and less coordinated some how.

  • Sam Clonch

    No real argument. I feel like if there’s a game where he’s going to be overlooked and able to exploit not being paid attention to, it COULD (but not necessarily WILL) be this one. I’m not predicting, just hoping.

  • charles

    Bell looking like modern Era Jim Brown. Seeing ravens #23 head snap back on that Bell td run was remarkable. In the Cincy and Ravens divisional games Bell has drilled tacklers over and over again. Never seen anything like that in many years of football…

  • charles

    Bambi, that is funny. Bryant headed for the sidelines like it was a 2 minute drill all game. Made one think of Franco in his 12th year. He should NOT be given a hat moving forward….

  • Kevin78

    How about that stiff-arm on Mosley? It wasn’t the bouncing off the turf that Dre got, but it was probably more impressive.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    60’s whatevs! I’ll take that bet!

  • TroymanianDevil

    How great is it that a 3 TD game can take a “back seat” haha, really shows the strength of the offense. And I agree, you only realized he had 3 TDs when you thought about it b/c like you said, AB and Ben going off.

    However, I’ll caution not to underestimate Bell’s performance for this reason ( not that you were underestimating it but I just wanted to point this out). The one “flaw” of AB , and I use that term in the loosest possible sense, is that he’s not the most dominant red zone threat. We’ve seen teams neutralize AB in the red zone simply by doubling him and I think it’s part of the reason our offense suffers in the red zone, again just part of the reason. At that point we need someone else to step up. Teams often take away Bell too, but with Juju, James and Bryant all doing just enough, that gives enough opportunities for Bell and for everyone else to make a play ( shoutout to NIX!! ). So Bell converting these TDs ( especially the last one, b/c that was Baltimore daring us to run, and we did ) is huge for the red zone offense moving forward

  • Goosemohr

    could it be he cant play without being high? he does look slow and less athletic.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    Raven will beat you up and do it cleanly unlike the Bungles who also will beat you up. AFC North football. The AFC North football also has been a factor in Steelers not advancing in the playoffs/super bowl because they usually play either the bengals or ravens n the early rounds.

  • Balok’s Plight

    His knee must be sore this week. I thought he didnt have much drive in his leg when he got stopped on the 2 point conversion from the one. Still great but he was dominating prior to the hit