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Steelers Ring the Bell Often; Top Bills in Buffalo for 4th Straight Win 27-20

Le'Veon Bell

The Steelers at times didn’t make it look pretty, but a history making day for running back Le’Veon Bell was enough as the team won their 4th straight topping the Buffalo Bills 27-20.

The win puts the black and gold at 8-5, and with three games left, all in the AFC North, if they win out they will clinch the division and play at least one home game in the playoffs.

They will wait to see if they will enter week 15 in first in the division or tied, as the 7-5 Ravens will play on Monday night football in New England against the Patriots.

Back to Sunday, the team committed to making sure Bell would get the ball often, and the dynamic running back delivered, setting a single-game Steelers record with 236 yards on a career-high 38 carries and three touchdowns.

He broke the record that was previously set by Willie Parker back on a Thursday night at home against the Browns back in 2006.

Bell paced the Steelers to a 14-0 lead early even after a Ben Roethlisberger interception deep in Buffalo territory. The Bills got back in the game after a second Ben pick, as Tyrod Taylor hit Sammy Watkins for a score with 7:07 to play in the first half to make it a 14-7 game.

The first half ended with Bell going for 77 yards on 13 carries, and with Ben throwing two picks but helping the team get to the seven-point lead.

The second half was all Bell, as the back ran all over the Bills putting up chunks of yards. He ended the day averaging 6.2 yards per carry, and his long on the day was 33 yards.

His five-yard touchdown run with 5:28 to play in the third quarter gave the Steelers a two touchdown lead to make it 21-7.

With the run game going, Bell also had 62 yards receiving to account for 298 of the 460 yards gained by the Steelers in the victory.

Bell now has four straight games in going over 100 yards on the ground, and he’s gone over 600 yards in the last four games, all of them wins by the Steelers.

The Bills made it interesting in the final minutes, as they scored twice in the final 7:27 on Charles Clay’s 40-yard catch and LeSean McCoy’s 3-yard run with 1:25 left to make it 27-20.

Dan Carpenter’s awful onside kick that went just five yards and out of bounds, securing the win for the Steelers. The next test for the team will be the rematch with the Bengals next Sunday at 1pm in Paul Brown Stadium.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Dave B.

    December 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    A tough win on the road in miserable weather conditions . The game looked like a 1970’s Houston Oiler game when they would run Earl Campbell left then right , then up the middle and then repeat the process all over again . Thats the way the Steelers used Bell today and it worked to perfection , The Bills had no answers on how to stop him . Kudos to the boys up front who were opening up Mack truck holes for Bell to run through . Lastly , Ben is not superhuman . He had a sub par game today but trying to throw the ball in a driving snow storm in 20 degree tempatures never should have been part of the gameplan in the first place . That falls on Todd Haley . In the end we have three games left and two are division games . These three games will decide the Steelers 2016 season . Its go time .

  2. DrGeorge

    December 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    On the face of it, the Steelers won this game by a landslide: Time of possession (38:41 to 21.19), Total Yards (460 to 275), and the 27-13 score (I’m ignoring that last meaningless TD by the Bills against a very soft defense intent on letting the clock run out). The mix of rushing yards (240) to passing yards (220) was just about perfect.

    Beneath the surface, however, the offense continues to trouble me, as much because of the play calling as the execution. Since Ben R. claims he has carte blanche to call his own plays and to change plays at the line of scrimmage, I guess we have to lay it to his account. But why were we passing on first down in a snowstorm, with the wind swirling and footing for receivers unsure, especially in the red zone, when we were making 6 yards a carry rushing the ball? Strategically and tactically, it makes no sense.

    Those unnecessary passes also led to 3 INTs (count ‘em, 3 big ones). Worse, there were at least two other throws – sure interceptions it appeared – that hit defenders in the hands and got away. And still other passes were thrown high and behind receivers as they cut over the middle. Yes, Ben made other good throws that compensated for these somewhat, but from a veteran QB one expects consistency and respect for ball security. Tyrod Taylor for the Bills nearly matched Ben in total yards passing and in yards per pass – and Taylor is only in his second year and has never been mentioned as one of the elite QBs in the league. Our $100 million QB should be playing better than this.

    The good news is that the defense continues to play well as the rookies, Burns and Davis develop. McCullers filled in nicely for Hargrave, Tuitt is becoming a beast, Bud Dupree is pushing the starters hard. The defense choked off the Bills running game. Alas, they gave up 202 yards through the air, but as a unit, they are improving every game. The talent is still lacking in spots, but they are playing well enough to mask their deficiencies.

    The offense played better, too. Finney, Hubbard, Hamilton, Rogers and Johnson all played significant minutes and played well. In fact, the O-line looked better today on running plays, even without Pouncey; or perhaps because they were without Pouncey. The running game is also vastly improved by Todd Haley’s sudden rediscovery of the FB position. For five years, he dispensed with a FB, filling in with a TE, in order to carry more receivers. Our rushing attack foundered. It works much better now, with Nix, a blocking machine, leading Bell through the hole. We’ve been championing a better balanced offense on this site since the last Super Bowl. It looks like Haley and Ben are finally getting the message.

    Thinking ahead to the playoffs, it still looks like we’ll have to win out. Although things look better for us at 8-5, there are no guarantees. Tannehill’s injury at Miami improves our chances of backing in as a wild card, but Matt Moore, his back up, might surprise. Meanwhile, the injury to Gronkowski in Boston smoothes the road for the Ravens. To be sure of making the playoffs, we must win the remaining three games, all in our division.

  3. Jay

    December 11, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Let’s face it Doc, we don’t have an elite QB, we have an interception machine! Did pouncey play today?

    • Dave B.

      December 12, 2016 at 7:48 am

      Jay , I respect your opinion , like I do everyone that post comments on this site , but in all honesty you couldnt be more wrong about Ben Roethlisberger . Without him under center the Steelers are a six or seven win team at best . Is that what you want as a fan ? I certainly dont . Its unbelieveable how fans can turn on a player who has done so much for an organization . Hes a Hall of Fame player who will be in Canton Ohio five years after he leaves the game . Terry Bradshaw is one of three QB’S to win four Super Bowls . He resides in Canton as he should . However , Terry played some of the most God awful games that any quarterback has ever played . The reason being , Terry was a gunslinger . He wanted to throw the ball down the field . To hell with the short pass , Im going for all the marbles . With that mindset , interceptions are going to happen . It comes with the territory and you wont avoid it . Thats who Ben is , and thats what he is . Hes a gunslinger and hes going to throw the ball down the field . Hes done it his entire career and hes not changing now , it wont happen . Ben has taken his team to three Super Bowls and won two of them . He currently has his team in contention for another Super Bowl run . That doesnt mean they will win it , but you have to be in contention to win it , and the Steelers are . Lastly , I think we as fans become spoiled over time . If Ben , doesnt go out and throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns every week , people are screaming , he had a bad game . At the end of the day , if that is the fans expectations then were going to spend our lives disappointed . No Quarterback in the history of the game , past or present can live up to those standards . It will never happen . One last note . In three or four more years Ben will be gone . When that happens , who is the alternative ? I hate to tell you , but hes not on the roster . Anyone speaking the name of Landry Jones is getting ready to find out really fast just how valuable Ben Roethlisberger was .

  4. Andy G

    December 11, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Hey “Dr” ..where have you been the last few games? Oh wait NO ONE gives a sh*t about your observations…

  5. Jay

    December 12, 2016 at 9:32 am

    We’ll see. When he throws a big pick in crucial playoff game! Not my job to determine who the next one is. That the GM job. I’m not him. God forbid anyone in Steelers nation talks poorly about angelic Ben lest we be labeled spoiled. I’m sick of seeing interceptions and, much like with Ike Taylor who dropped them, I got sick of seeing him too! By the way , Miami, Kansas City, Baltimore, Tampa bay are all teams in contention and are all teams without elite qbs….throw in the yet to arrive mariota and the inconsistent luck and you have two more contending teams without “elite” QB play! Let’s not leave out Washington because cousins had only just started to arrive and is by far an institution down in D.C. The cowboys have a rookie, far from elite. And the Giants have manning, ’nuff said. Oh yeah Denver with Simone are in it too. So out of the 12 playoff spots you have Brady, (us), Carr, stafford, Ryan, Rodgers, and Russell. That’s just over 50%. There is no rule that says u need an elite QB to contend.

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