Last week against the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell broke off his first run of 20 yards or more since Week Seven, and the first run of more than 20 yards since Week Five. In fact, of his career-high 33 carries, eight of them went for double digits. Let’s take a look at each of them.
The first of those came on the first play of the game. The Steelers used a pair of tight ends, pulling Heath Miller and David DeCastro. Matt Spaeth and Markus Wheaton picked up key blocks to create a path to the sideline that allowed Bell to use his speed to pick up 12 yards.
Two plays later, he went for an even bigger gain, picking up 19 yards after showing excellent burst through the hole provided by Miller and Will Johnson. He finished off the run by faking out the safety and running through an arm tackle, dragging the last defender about five yards.
Later in the first quarter, Bell actually had two options to tackle. He chose to go around right tackle, beating the linebacker coming off his block from Miller, bounding through contact from a defensive back, and then lowering his shoulder on the safety, being brought down by a group of three Titans.
Bell then went about half of the game without another run 10 yards, but he finished with five more in the second half. The first was his longest of the game, which went for 27 yards. The Titans had just two players with their hand on the ground as the Steelers used a zone, finding space behind DeCastro with Miller and Marcus Gilbert providing a seal. He tucked the run inside as long as possible to set up a block from Martavis Bryant to get past the cornerback up the right sideline.
He followed that up with an 11-yard run on the next play, taking advantage of a big hole in the leftside A Gap, ending the run by lowering the boom on the safety.
After the defense forced a three and out, Bell began the Steelers’ game-winning drive with a chunk on first down for 10 yards. He showed patience in the backfield to set up a cut around the center, then ran through the contact of a pair of defenders.
He added another two chunk runs on the final drive of the game. from the Steelers’ 31, he followed through behind Johnson and Miller to find the hole, and then plowed over the safety, trucking him and nearly running through the contact, but he just barely hung on for dear life.
As the Steelers looked to close out the game, Bell continued churning out yards, squeezing between the line and Miller’s block on the left side of the formation, behind the pulling blocks of DeCastro and Johnson. This time the safety made a good form tackle, wrapping up the back by the legs.