With DeAngelo Williams potentially out against the Denver Broncos this weekend, Jordan Todman and Fitzgerald Toussaint, recently nicknamed ‘TNT’ by Williams himself, will be expected to carry the load once again for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In the Wild Card matchup against the Bengals, one of the major concerns for Pittsburgh was their run game. With Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams both sidelined with injuries, the Pittsburgh run game was depleted to the combination of Jordan Todman and Fitzgerald Toussaint.
Surprisingly, the duo played really well. Todman had a couple of sweet runs, displaying his quick movements, and unreal speed. Toussaint was a consistent contributor on the ground, but flashed mostly in the pass game, making some key catches, and became a reliable target for Roethlisberger.
With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger nursing two torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder, and dealing with a sprained AC joint in the same shoulder, the run game could become really important, no matter if he plays or not.
Even on passing plays, Toussaint will have to be just as reliable as last game, ensuring Roethlisberger has short pass options on most plays. While it’s not the most explosive combination of running backs the league has seen, Williams may have given them the perfect nickname in ‘TNT’, because they surely can be explosive.
Todman averaged 5.9 yards per carry on 11 carries, and exploded for an impressive 25 yard run fairly early in the game. Toussaint was a steady running back, averaging 3.4 yards per carry on 17 carries, but it was his receiving game that stood out. Fitzgerald had 4 receptions for 60 yards, including a very impressive, and important 27 yard catch and run.
People were concerned that last week’s game would be a repeat of what happened to Pittsburgh last season. Le’Veon Bell goes down in Week 17, and the backup, Ben Tate, cannot contribute, fumbles, and the Steelers end up losing the game. Instead, Todman and Toussaint surprised the world, and really flashed some excellence in the playoff game.
While the Steelers may not have won in the best fashion, Jordan and Fitzgerald surely contributed to the win, and were vital to the team’s victory.
For Pittsburgh to get out of Denver, and take their next step toward a 7th Super Bowl title, the two young backs will need to contribute even more, and really help out the banged up Steelers offense.
From the looks of it, they are surely capable of it, but against the best defense in the league, it could be a lot to ask for. We’ll have to wait until game time to find out.