clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ESPN ranks the Steelers RB tandem of Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams as second best in the NFL

New, comments

The Pittsburgh Steelers have one heck of a running back duo in Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams. See how ESPN ranked them second of the entire NFL's best RB duos.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone put your thinking caps on, and try to think of a running back duo in the NFL better than the Pittsburgh Steelers tandem of Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams.

Go ahead, take your time...

Think of anyone yet? Me neither, but when ESPN ranked all 32 NFL running back duos, the Steelers tandem was ranked second. Before we talk about which tandem was ranked higher, let's see what they had to say about the Steelers' dynamic backfield duo.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams: There's an easy case for Bell, who returns this weekend after a three-game suspension, as the best running back in football; he's an outstanding rusher and just as capable a receiver. He's a uniquely talented back, but the excellent Williams is no slouch either. Few players can make defenders miss in the hole as easily as Williams, who has three touchdowns in Bell's absence.

This is where most would suggest that as the editor of a Steelers blog, I am being partial to Bell and Williams. I'm not going to lie and suggest that doesn't take place from time to time -- have to appease the masses -- but I also know the production of both Bell and Williams over the years.

In 2014, when Williams was still a member of the Carolina Panthers, Bell set the NFL ablaze with over 1,300 rushing yards and almost 900 receiving yards. He proved to be the most dynamic running back in the league, and some suggested the most versatile since Marshall Faulk played for the Rams.

2015 was a bad year for Bell, starting the year with a suspension and injuring his knee midway through the campaign, but Williams was almost able to amass 1,000 yards while watching from the sidelines for almost 4 full football games. In 2016, Williams has continued his incredible ways and rushed for over 100 yards in Week 1, and amassed nearly 200 all purpose yards in Week 2. With Bell returning in Week 4 it is likely Williams will see the ball much, but it should diminish what he can do for the team on any given Sunday.

How many teams can say they sport an All-Pro as a starter, and a veteran with plenty still left in the tank as a backup? Not many, but it still wasn't enough to have them snag the top spot. Which duo was given such a worthy honor? The Atlanta Falcons duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

See what ESPN had to say about giving them the top pick:

1. Atlanta Falcons

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman: Freeman burst onto the scene in 2015, totaling 14 touchdowns in a memorable campaign. Coleman, a 2015 second-round pick, has flourished early on this season, as both players are seamless fits in Atlanta's offense. They're decisive, one-cut runners.

Don't get me wrong, Freeman and Coleman are great, but they don't have the experience and resume as Bell and Williams. At this point, you can let the debate begin, but I'm pretty sure I know who fans will think are truly worthy of that designation as the top running back duo in the NFL today.