During the course of yesterday’s game, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell accumulated 146 yards on the ground on 28 carries and added another 55 yards through the air with eight receptions. That gave him 201 all-purpose yards for the game, which was his first 200-yard game of the season, as I wrote yesterday evening.
But it was also the fourth 200-yard game of his career, and that, according to Dom Rinelli, is the most of any player in franchise history. In 2014, he actually went over 200 yards from scrimmage in three consecutive games, a feat that only Walter Payton had ever accomplished prior to that.
— Dom Rinelli (@drinelli) November 20, 2016
In doing so, he passed Willie Parker, who had three games with the Steelers in which he gained at least 200 yards from scrimmage. He did it twice solely on the ground. In 2006, he rushed for 213 yards and 223 yards in two separate games. The year before, he also had a game in which he rushed for 161 yards and had 48 receiving yards.
I’m not even sure, frankly, who is third on this list, because I can’t even find anybody else who has had two 200-yard games with the Steelers in their career. Jerome Bettis never did it. Franco Harris and Barry Foster did it once. Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton did it last year. Plaxico Burress and Buddy Dial had one each.
Consider some of the amazing names that are on that list and just how impressive and significant it is for Bell to be above all of them. The former second-round draft pick is such a rare talent with his impressive, wide-receiver-like route-running and hands, which is what has enabled him to excel.
Bell’s first 200-yard game is the only one in which he did it purely on the ground, rushing for 204 yards against the Titans on November 11, 2014. Following the bye, he game back with a 159-yard receiving game, to which he added 95 rushing yards, on November 30. A week later, on December 7, he rushed for 185 yards and added 50 yards through the air.
Add to that November 20, 2016, on which he rushed for 146 yards and caught eight passes for 55 yards. But one area in which he is still trailing is 300-yard games. Antonio Brown has one of just nine 300-yard games in NFL history.
I don’t know if Bell will ever reach that level—his career-high is 254 yards—but considering his running ability in conjunction with his pass-catching ability, he may be as likely as anybody to be able to add his name to the 10th spot on that list.
In the meantime, he is getting back into the end zone. After failing to score in his first five games, he has scored three touchdowns in his last two, including two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown. He does have a two-point conversion as well, giving him 20 total points scored on the year.