Le’Veon Bell could be the best running back in the NFL, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are lucky to have him.
There are other arguments to be made for running backs around the league. Adrian Peterson might have better lateral ability. Todd Gurley and Marshawn Lynch may have more power. Jamaal Charles might be a better receiving option out of the backfield. LeSean McCoy may be more elusive.
No other NFL running back puts together the complete package quite like Bell, though.
Despite playing in only six games this season, Pro Football Focus rated him higher than anyone else at his position. Yes, Bell can run over you, he can run around you, and he can catch and run with the football better than many wide receivers.
The one thing that seems to get lost in his greatness? Bell practically never fumbles the ball. Ever.
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Bell was happy to remind us of this fact on Twitter earlier this week. When a fan tweeted out the incredible stat that Bell has only fumbled once in 799 career touches he shared it with the bug-eyed emoticon:
How good is Le’Veon Bell? He even blows Le’Veon Bell’s mind.
At first glance I didn’t think that number could possibly be accurate given the number of snaps that Bell has played in his NFL career. However, a glance at ESPN’s stat machine proved that it’s true.
If we go back even further the record gets even more impressive.
During his three years of playing at Michigan State, Bell fumbled the ball just twice. So, if we add up his amateur career with his NFL career, Bell has fumbled a total of three times in 75 games. That more than any other stat puts him ahead of the rest of the running backs in the sport.
Not turning the ball over always has been and always will be crucial for success. The five NFL teams that led the league in takeaway to giveaway ratio all made the playoffs, while the Steelers finished in the middle of the field with a total of +2.
Whatever else happens to the roster going forward, Pittsburgh is in good hands with Bell.