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Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is the 'X-Factor' in the Week 4 game vs. the Chiefs

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The Pittsburgh Steelers welcome back their All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell to the lineup in Week 4, and he is the 'X-Factor' vs. the Chiefs.

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

What is truly sad is how many fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers have forgotten just what Le'Veon Bell brings to the football team. Many of his issues are self-inflicted wounds in the form of suspensions, but you can't blame him for the knee injuries which ended both his 2014 and 2015 seasons prematurely.

Either way, Bell returns to the lineup in Week 4 when the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Heinz Field, and there is no doubt Bell is the 'X-Factor' in this huge AFC matchup.

How exactly is Bell going to transform the Pittsburgh offense? Let me explain...

A lot has been written about Bell's abilities as a receiver, and it can't be stated enough. In fact, his abilities range from lining up as a receiver, to catching the football out of the backfield. In the third preseason game in 2016, Bell put those skills on display by catching a short swing pass from Ben Roethlisberger, and turning a short gain into something special.

Bell's elusive style shouldn't be understated, and you can see how Bell vs. a linebacker is a matchup which is a huge advantage to the Steelers offense. As you watch this play, it is not only amazing how he remains in bounds, but also how he wisely steps out of bounds instead of absorbing an unnecessary hit. Bell spoke in the offseason about being a smarter player, and this would be a great example of the maturation process starting to take shape.

Bell can catch, but Bell can also run. Lauded for his patience, Bell can also hit the hole with authority and rip off a big gain when the hole presents itself early. Watch on this play as center Maurkice Pouncey helps seal off the inside linebacker to give Bell a perfect lane for a momentum swinging run.

Bell's vision on the interior runs is impressive, but he also knows how to be patient and allow his blockers to set up for runs outside the tackle box. Before breaking down this play, it should be noted how comfortable Bell is running out of the shotgun, something DeAngelo Williams eventually developed in 2016, but Bell running these draws with success can set up for a very good play action fake.

Watch this play develop with lead blocker paving the way...

Right guard David Decastro pulls across the line of scrimmage and helps engage on the right defensive end, while tight end David Johnson is the lead blocker across the formation to help Bell gain the yardage necessary for a first down. Patience pays off for Bell on this play.

A lot of praise for Bell in both the running game and receiving game, but his ability in pass protection might be one of the strongest components of his game. He is a nasty chip blocker, as seen below, and has a great feel for coming across the formation for help, and also when to release into the flat as a safety valve for Roethlisberger.

When watching Bell in his only preseason action of 2016, it is clear to see just how much he does, and means, for this offense. With his return, even a rusty Bell will be a difference maker for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. My definition of  an 'X-Factor' is someone who will completely change the complexion of the game by being on the field. That personifies Bell, and hopefully will be proven in a Week 4 game on Sunday Night Football at Heinz Field.

(GIFs by Nate Bodnar, text by Jeff Hartman)