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Le'Backfield le'awesome against Carolina defense Sunday

You know about the off-field blunder the tandem of Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount made in preseason, being arrested for smoking pot in a car. Sunday in Charlotte, JP says the tandem made fans and media consider these two in a different light.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Work hard and good results will follow.  

Seems like a simple statement, but one that rings true all too often when followed. Yet so many take the easy way, or in other cases, just don't put forth the effort to get good results either in a professional career or in life.

I'm not sure where Le'Veon Bell and LeGerrette Blount fall in this category but, on Sunday in Charlotte, they took big steps in winning fans back with an effort that hasn't been seen by Steelers Nation in 28 years.

Bell dashed while Blount bashed their way to 100-yard-plus nights in the Steelers 37-19 thrashing of the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

Bell did the early damage with a deft, cat-like way of running that's really fun to watch. His moves were on display in the first half when he ran for 47 yards and helped the offense to an early 9-3 lead at halftime.

But the Bell tolled again for Carolina midway in the third quarter, with the score 16-6 and the Black & Gold pinned back inside their own 10. Bell took a handoff from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and went right up the middle into open space, rolling for 81 yards and placing the Steelers inside the Panthers red zone.

Ben and Antonio Brown finished off the drive with their second TD-pass connection of the quarter to extend the Steelers' lead to 17.

"We made a lot of mistakes in the Baltimore game, we didn't play Steelers football' said an elated Bell in the locker room afterwards. "Tonight we went out there and the offense did a good job, the defense did a good job and the special teams did a good job so in all three phases we went out there and played Steelers football."

After the Panthers responded with a TD-scoring drive of their own, the Steelers got the lead back with their defense, which played its best game of the young season, forcing two turnovers, one of which led directly to a TD in the Panthers'  end zone on a muffed punt. That put the lead back to 17.

Enter the big, burly beast that is Blount, who began to pillage and plunder the Carolina defense with the kind of punishing running effort that has become his calling card. It didn't take long for him to rip off a 50-yard run in a fourth-quarter drive that would thrust the dagger into the heart of the Panthers' defense when Blount capped the eight-play, 98-yard march with an eight-yard score.

"With the backs that we have," said an upbeat Blount afterwards, "it just takes one mistake for us to make these kind of big plays, and we made them."

Now at 2-1 on the young season, the Steelers head into a three-game stretch facing opponents whose combined record is 1-8.

Both players know they possess the ability to be forces to be dealt with.

"He's a guy that's tough to tackle," said Bell of Blount. "He runs that ball so hard. Even when we get Dri (Archer) back, he's another change of pace back. We've got a stable of backs, capable of doing different things and will continue to help this offense."

A little help will go a long way for this Steelers team in 2014, looking to forge an identity and carve a path to getting back to the post-season.

Bell and Blount look poised to drive this bus the rest of the way.

John Phillips is a radio personality for 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and a columnist for Behind The Steel Curtain. Check him out on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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