The Pittsburgh Steelers look nothing like the Steelers that we’ve come to know over the past decade or so in the NFL. Instead of a gritty, tough, quality team like the ones that we’ve grown accustomed to watching, the Steelers have been a doormat for every team they’ve come up against, even allowing 34 points to the then 0-3 Minnesota Vikings in week four.
As the Steelers sit with a winless 0-4 record, there are some people hanging the hat on the fact that Pittsburgh showed some resemblance of a running game on Sunday in London against the Vikes with rookie Le’Veon Bell making his debut. Bell was able to put two touchdowns on the board in his first taste of NFL action, which are the Steelers’ only two rushing touchdowns this season.
Though it is definitely a good sign to see a Steelers running back putting six points on the board, Bell may not be the savior that everyone was hoping for. In fact, his two touchdown performance in week four wasn’t all that flashy or even impressive at all.
Against Minnesota, Bell was given a solid workload of 16 carries, but rushed for only 57 yards on the day. That means that Bell averaged only 3.6 yards per carry, which is actually behind the production of Felix Jones, who hardly qualifies as a quality running back, on Pittsburgh’s roster for this season.
It’s not as if Bell was going up against an elite run defense, either. In fact, Minnesota has been pretty average on the season in that department, ranking 13th in the NFL by giving up 104.8 rushing yards per game. Part of Bell’s lack of yardage on the day could definitely be attributed to playing overseas, playing in his first game, and trying to get back in the feel of things after his foot injury. However, a game-changing running back should probably be more productive against an averaged run defense, even if your offensive line is depleted.
Perhaps Bell is indeed the truth and is indeed the answer to every Steelers-fan-who-is-dejected-after-this-horrendous-start’s prayers. However, if that is the case, he’s going to have to show me more than he did in London in week four to make me a believer.