Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is certainly having a great 2014 season as he already has 1144 yards from scrimmage through the first nine games. 433 of those yards have come on 47 receptions and you might be surprised to learn that 10 of his catches have come on third down and produced either a first down or touchdown in the process.
Of all of the players in the league that have been targeted 15 or more times so far this season on third downs, Bell leads all running backs with 15 catches. Only one time this season has he not caught a ball thrown his way on third down and that incompletion came back in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers as the pass to Bell from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was batted down at the line of scrimmage by a defensive lineman.
Bell is also averaging 10.9 yards per reception on third downs this season and of his 164 third down receiving yards this season, 143 (87.2%) of them have come after the catch, according to our charting.
Bell has also produced the few times he’s carried the football this season on third downs as four of his five money down carries have resulted in the chains being moved. As a means of comparison, fellow Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount has only moved the chains twice on six his third down rushing attempts. Those six rushes resulted in seven yards gained and five of those yards came on one carry.
While the purpose of this post is to highlight Bell’s contributions on third downs, you can’t ignore what wide receiver Antonio Brown has done this season for the Steelers on the money down. 12 of Brown’s 17 third down receptions this season have resulted in either a touchdown or first down and that equates to very respectable 17.2 yards per reception.
As you have probably already figured out by now, Roethlisberger is once again having a great season when it comes to passing on third downs.
Entering Week 10, Roethlisberger has completed 67.4% of his third down passes this season and that ranks him fourth in the league in that statistic when compared to all quarterbacks that have attempted at least 50 passes on third down. In case you’re curious, the three quarterbacks ahead of Roethlisberger are Tony Romo, Alex Smith and Drew Brees.
In order to add some depth to Roethlisberger’s third down numbers, 41 of his 58 (71%) completed third passes have resulted in either a touchdown or a first down.
Over the course of the last three weeks, Roethlisberger has completed 70.6% of his third down passes.
Sortable 2014 Third Down Receiving Stats Through Week 9 (Minimum 15 Targets)
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