PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are the sixth-rated offense in the NFL, including a No. 5 ranking in yards rushing, while second-year running back Le'Veon Bell is second overall with 542 yards on the ground.
But when the Steelers (3-3) reach the red zone, things change. Bell believes something different each time keeps the team from scoring touchdowns. The Steelers, who play host to the Houston Texans (3-3) Monday night at Heinz Field, are ranked 31st in reaching the end zone from inside the 20.
"That's probably the biggest problem, but it's not the only problem,'' Bell said. "I think there are a lot of different situations where we can get better at or different, because we need to score touchdowns.
"We move the ball a lot all the way down the field, but we don't finish off the trip. There's a penalty or a turnover, whatever it is. So, we just have to find a way to execute and get the ball into the end zone. (And) when we get an opportunity with a short field, we need to take advantage of it.''
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger believes that Bell's play hasn't been a problem. In fact, Roethlisberger noted that Bell has done a great job this year.
"I've said many times that I think he's one of the best all-around backs in the game,'' Roethlisberger said. "I think he shows it every week when he blocks, when he runs (and) when he catches.
"We've done a lot of new things, and we put things in that we haven't even shown yet for him to be more of a receiver. Use him out of the backfield (and) use him outside, because he creates mismatch problems because of how talented he is.''
Bell generally hasn't gotten the ball in the red zone, even though he's been an integral part of the Steelers' offense nearly all the way down the field.
"There are some plays that we run at midfield, but there are some that we wouldn't run in the red zone,'' Bell said. "There are plays that you just wouldn't run. So, you have red-zone plays that you go to for every situational situation. So, when we get down there, we don't execute the way that we should.
"We're comfortable with (the red-zone plays), but we just have to go out there and execute them. We don't execute the way that we should, and we need to get guys in better position to make plays. That will help us finish drives with touchdowns once we get into the red zone.''
Bell also noted that the Steelers have several packages where he and Blount are on the field at the same time and, after more practice time, some could be used in a game. So, this still is a long season with good times ahead and no need to panic, Bell said.
"We're 3-3, still sitting at .500,'' Bell said. "We know what we need to do, (and) we're beating ourselves a lot of the times. It's not really schematically what other teams have been doing to us.
"We're just not making the plays. So, that's something that we need to get turned around. Once we get that going, we'll be fine on offense.''
And Bell should be at the forefront of the Steelers' offense.