Sunday's game against the Chiefs was a relatively benign effort according to the lofty standards set by Le'Veon Bell this season. He scored a touchdown and rushed for over 60 yards, but failed to reach 100 all-purpose yards for only the third time this season.
Bell, however, went over 1,300 rushing yards on the season, which makes him one of only four players in NFL history to rush for 1,300 yards and accrue 750 receiving yards in a single season, joining Steven Jackson, Brian Westbrook, and Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk.
Bell has been the one of the catalysts for the Steelers this season. He's in the discussion for both team and league MVP honors and will likely make his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He's second in the league in rushing and trails only Matt Forte in both receptions and receiving yards for a running back.
The truth is, Bell isn't the best in the league in any one attribute which makes a good running back. He's not as quick as Jamaal Charles, as elusive as Lesean McCoy, as powerful as Demarco Murray, and doesn't get quite as many touches as Forte in the receiving department.
What Bell does do well, is everything.
Bell is capable of breaking away when he needs to, as evidenced by an 81-yard run against the Panthers, the fifth-longest run in the NFL this season. Bell also has eight runs of over 20 yards and two runs of over 40 yards. His 11 total touchdowns are 11th in the league, while his 73 first downs are second in the NFL. Perhaps the most overlooked statistic of all is Bell's zero fumbles this season. Bell is the only running back in the NFL with more than 191 carries that has yet to fumble the ball, which is an absurd statistic. Time and time again, Steelers players will praise Bell's vision and patience, exemplified by his 4.8-yards-per-carry average.
By every observable measure, Bell comes out as one of the top backs in the NFL. While he isn't the leader in any specific category, he's the second or third best. So while his rushing stats don't quite measure up to Murray, and his receiving stats are slightly behind Forte, it's the fact Bell is so dominant in both facets that make him arguably the game's best running back.
All season, players, fans, and coaches have recognized Bell as an emerging young star in the league. It seems, however, as if Le'Veon Bell has already fully arrived.