The Pittsburgh Steelers cannot hand Le’Veon Bell the ball 35 times a game.
Le’Veon Bell finally had his breakout game of the 2017 season. 144 yards and two touchdowns won Pittsburgh the game. But this can’t be the new philosophy for the Steelers moving forward.
It’s a great game for Bell, who controlled the line of scrimmage, rushing for a sound four yards per carry. But with injuries coming like sneezes for the Pittsburgh Steelers, handing someone the ball 35 times who this team needs until February is not a smart move.
Fortunately, Pittsburgh doesn’t need to do that. This team needed to get Bell back in the grove, and they did it. He’s not going to be a 35 rushes a game back, but to get him up-to-par, they needed to work him.
That’s what Pittsburgh wants, though. They want to be able to handle No. 26 the ball 30 times in a game and know that they’re going to win the game on the ground.
Why? Because Ben Roethlisberger and the receiving core have already proven they can win games through the air.
Pittsburgh can now switch between games at any moment. If the passing game isn’t working, they’ll put the ball in Bell’s hands every chance they can. If Ben’s making plays deep, guys like Brown and Bryant are flowing, and the opposing secondary can’t handle the pressure, hand Bell the ball 20 times and the rest of the time push the limits through the air.
That’s who the Steelers are. They’ve built this team to be versatile and after years of sculpting the perfect team, they now have the ability to do whatever they want on offense.
They’re still getting everything flowing. Not everyone has the chemistry they’ll have later in the season, and guys are still going to struggle from time to time. There’s enough talent to make it work, though.
Bell doesn’t need to rush 35 times a game, unless he needs to. Mike Tomlin is smart enough to know he’s not stressing his running back into a workload bound for injury, but he’s always smart enough to ride No. 26 when he needs to.
This team looked better on paper before the season started. Looking at this depth chart is terrifying until you watch game film from the first four weeks. But as the Steelers continue to grow and the chemistry forms, they’ll become more and more unstoppable.
There isn’t a hole in this offense. Right now, it isn’t perfect. Four games in, though, that’s okay. Just wait until everyone clicks and Pittsburgh has EVERYTHING.