Most important about last night’s game was, of course, that it featured a Pittsburgh Steelers win, just their second of the year. But there were many notable things that took place during the game. They recorded three turnovers to give them 15 for the season. They scored their first defensive touchdown. Devlin Hodges threw his first touchdown pass.
And we also got our first extended look at Benny Snell football as well in what should be an extended cameo over the course of the next few weeks for the rookie running back. With Jaylen Samuels shelved during that time with a knee injury that required some cleanup, the fourth-round pick is now the number two guy behind James Conner.
“Everything that they give me, I’ll take it on”, he told reporters after the game, during which he received easily the most extensive work on offense of the season. “I take pride in it. I took pride in special teams, and I try to do my best to execute whenever I’m in offense”.
Snell carried the football 17 times to Conner’s 16, rushing for 75 yards with a 4.4-yard average. He had a long run of 20 yards, and eight of his 17 carries were ‘successful’. Approaching 50 percent is not a bad ratio at all. He also had one reception for 14 yards.
“It’s awesome for him, getting some game experience”, Conner said about his younger teammate getting so much work. The third-year back did not finish the team with some sort of minor injury. “That’s his type of football, late in the game, keep that clock going. Benny Snell Football”.
“James is my guy”, Snell shot back. “He’s teaching me things on and off the field every day. I treat him like a brother, and we just get better day by day”.
It was by far the Steelers’ most successful day on the ground of the season so far through six weeks. Between Conner and Snell, they rushed for 116 yards on 33 carries with a touchdown. They also combined for eight receptions for 92 yards, producing over 200 yards of offense between the two of them.
It was definitely a positive first extended look for the rookie, who frankly looked through much of the preseason and much of his early work in the regular season as though he could very much use a redshirt year to slim down and learn the game better.
If he can play as he did against the Los Angeles Chargers, however, then there could be a more sustainable role for him as a rookie. And he’ll take whatever he can get.