The Pittsburgh Steelers are undefeated and in a great spot right now. The only concern I have is that Le’Veon Bell has yet to get rolling. For whatever reason, Bell has been less than impressive in his first two games of the 2017 season. For most players, this wouldn’t be considered a poor start, but for Bell it clearly is.
Through two games this season, Bell has averaged a lowly 3.2 yards per carry. This is much lower than his career average of 4.4, but what’s scarier is his lack of production in the passing game. He has only 19 receiving yards through the first two games, and has caught seven passes. On a per target basis, Bell is averaging 1.9 yards. For his career, he has averaged 6.7 yards per target.
If this wasn’t worrisome enough, he has taken more big hits in the first two games than I’ve seen him take over the last two years (or at least it seems like it). Whether it be from rust or lack of blocking, Bell has not looked good. He got a huge number of attempts in week two (27) and still was never able to break loose. This is not Bell-like behavior.
The positive side is that Bell looks to be in great shape. He has taken on a huge load, in the early part of the season, and has not slowed down. This is something I’m happy about because I thought he would start the season a little out of shape after missing training camp.
Week three will be a big week for Bell. He has said it himself that he expects an explosion soon. Slowly, but surely, James Conner has been proving that he has some serious skill. He flashed it last week with a carry for nine yards in his only attempt of the game. If Bell’s struggles continue, expect Conner to see more action.
All that being said, I still have 100% faith in Bell to return to form. The guy is just simply too good to continue to struggle. A nice match-up with the Chicago Bears this week could be a jump starter for him. A couple big plays, the confidence returns, and the old Bell is back… at least that’s what we hope.
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