Steelers top 1,000 rushing yards after 13 games

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Long gone is the dual-threat Steelers' running game of the 1970s, but what's left is so far off the mark for this franchise, it's not even a question if they're the worst rushing team in franchise history, it's by how much. What's worse is it seems to be an issue with players and coaches.

Franco and Rocky can't be happy.

The Steelers rushed for 84 yards on 21 carries in a 34-28 loss to Miami, which used to be an average half of rushing production for this franchise. they once had two running backs go for over 1,000 yards each in a 14-game season. It took the 2013 Steelers 13 games to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Despite an outstanding half for running back Le'Veon Bell, he was largely absent in the second half, finishing the game with 15 rushes for 61 yards - against the 25th ranked rushing defense in the NFL.

We're never above stirring the Arians' nest, though.

At the risk of sending mixed messages, it's confusing why the Steelers didn't run the ball more. There's something to be said about the way Roethlisberger was throwing (good enough to help keep them in position to win until a defensive collapse down the stretch), but Bell's first 100 yard rushing game seemed like a foregone conclusion after the first 30 minutes of play. Instead, he was barely seen the rest of the game.

Was it maybe due to the shot to the head he took last week against Baltimore? If it was, no one told Roethlisberger that. Gene Collier of the Post-Gazette wrote this:

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tersely referred questions to offensive coordinator Todd Haley when asked pretty much the same thing. "Their scheme, I don't know, there was no particular reason," said No. 7.

Maybe he was ticked about the loss, and didn't feel like answering more questions about the offense. Plenty of writers will run with his quote, though, in the same fashion as they do unless Roethlisberger and Haley are smiling in Brees-Payton-like embraces at all turns.

But it's still a fair question, and one Haley will no doubt address when he's made available to the media Thursday.

Until then, though, we're left to wonder a few things: Will the Steelers see a 100-yard rusher any time soon (it's been 20 games since Isaac Redman ran all over the Giants in Week 10 of the 2012 season)? Is this going to be an issue with the offensive dynamic in Pittsburgh?

Lots of questions...one we wont ask, though...is this the worst Steelers rushing team ever?

It's pretty safe to say it is.

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