This is the first in a periodic series recapping some of the memorable moments from the Steelers' 2014 season.*
Today: The running game.
Nov. 17, at Tennessee: The Steelers rushed for 206 yards in a 27-24 victory and they did so emphatically. They ran RB Le'Veon Bell on their first six offensive snaps. And they chewed up the game's final 6:58, handing the ball to Bell on eight of 10 snaps, including the final seven in succession prior to QB Ben Roethlisberger twice taking a knee to finally close things out.
Bell finished with a career-high 204 rushing yards on 33 carries, the fourth-highest yardage figure in Steelers history. He also became the first Steelers player with 200-plus yards from scrimmage in a game (222) since RB Willie Parker on Dec. 7, 2006 vs. Cleveland (223).
Dec. 7, at Cincinnati: The Steelers ran the play they identify as "37-counter" or "37-Georgia" so many times and so effectively that by game's end the Bengals' defenders were calling it out prior to the snap, and it was still working at the conclusion of a 42-21 triumph. Bell had 185 of the team's 193 rushing yards and became the sixth Steelers player to rush for two touchdowns and add another receiving in the same game. Previous to Bell, the last player to turn that trick was RB Mewelde Moore on Oct. 19, 2008 at Cincinnati.
Sept. 21, at Carolina: The Steelers' season-high 264 rushing yards included 147 from Bell and 118 from backup LeGarrette Blount (who averaged 11.8 yards per carry to Bell's 7.0) in a 37-19 win. Bell had an 81-yard run ( the Steelers' longest rush of the season) and Blount a 50-yard jaunt (the fourth-longest of 2014) as the pair became the first Steelers duo to each surpass 100 yards in a game since Oct. 26, 1986 (Earnest Jackson and Walter Abercrombie). The 264 yards constituted the Steelers' third-highest output in a game since 2000.
Sept. 7, Cleveland: The Steelers got a last-play field goal to beat the Browns, 30-27, in the regular season opener after sprinting to a 27-3 halftime lead thanks in part to a 38-yard touchdown run by Bell midway through the second quarter. The touchdown scamper was the longest of Bell's career and would stand as the Steelers' longest scoring run of the season. The big play was part of a 21-carry, 109-yard afternoon for Bell and a sign of things to come for the Steelers.
Dec. 14, at Atlanta: The Steelers only managed 45 yards on 22 carries in topping the Falcons, 27-20. But Bell managed to cross the goal line twice on his 20 carries, including a 1-yard run that gave the Steelers a 20-7 lead just prior to halftime. The Falcons didn't run for a touchdown.