3 reasons Le’Veon Bell was overrated on the Pittsburgh Steelers
By Tommy Jaggi
Volume production is not a great way to assess running backs
Being able to tout the rock 25 times per game is certainly an asset to have. However, volume stats are a terrible way to measure how good a running back is in the NFL. Sadly, casual viewing and fantasy football has made it so many recognize the name as one of the best players in the league.
Bell did have some really good years, but as I mentioned, there were several other factors that played into his success (as there always is for running backs). This isn’t to take anything away from his receiving ability, as I truly believe Bell was one of the best receiving backs in the game. As a runner, however, he was largely a product of opportunity.
In 2017 with the Steelers, Bell carried the ball a league-leading 321 times in 15 games (21.4 carries per contest), according to Pro Football Reference. Unfortunately with all of these touches, he managed just 1,291 yards (4.0 per carry) and had a dismal 3 runs of 20 or more yards.
Additionally, Bell saw a whopping 106 targets in the passing game but managed just 7.7 yards per reception. Despite his 406 total touches in 2017, Bell averaged a very pedestrian 4.8 yards per touch (combination of rushing and receiving) and managed just 1 touchdown every 37 touches. Volume does not equate to efficiency, and I think his reputation was inflated due to his raw statistics.