The Pittsburgh Steelers were reeling. There really is no other way to put it. If I were to use a sports analogy, they were a boxer who was against the ropes about to go down.
At 4-5, losers of 4 straight games, their playoff hopes were dismal. However, just as the corner man for the boxer, sticking with the analogy, directs the boxer to attack the opponent’s body, a change from their previous mentality, success begins to become a reality.
The Steelers needed a change, especially offensively, and it came by the way of a more balanced attack, and if they were going to lean on either the run or the pass, they would be putting the ball in Le’Veon Bell’s hands more than Ben Roethlisberger’s.
This isn’t a cut on Roethlisberger, he is still a premier passer in the league, and more than capable of willing his team to victory — just look at the Week 16 game against the Baltimore Ravens as exhibit A — but the truth of the matter remains this team is better suited to run the football.
In the latest episode of the Steelers Connection, I take a look at the numbers, and the biggest statistical change during the team’s current 8-game winning streak. Yeah, there is a direct correlation to the offensive success, and it all lies within the pass attempts and Le’Veon Bell’s rushing attempts.
When you look at the numbers, it is hard to ignore the fact the Steelers are now a running team, but more importantly, Bell’s team. They go as he goes, and they will need to ride the young running back to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs, and punch their ticket to the AFC Championship game for the first time since 2010.
To hear more about this, listen to the short podcast above where I dive into the reasoning behind the statistics.