It's only three games, but having the number one rushing attack in the NFL is definitely a source of pride for the Steelers offense. The Steelers have tallied 490 yards through three games, averaging 163.3 yards per game.
Second-year back Le'Veon Bell has been a key factor in that, with LeGarrette Blount being the perfect combination to punish opposing defenses.
"They mean everything to that offense," said NFL Network analyst and former running back LaDainian Tomlinson. "They have gotten back to being a power football team and that's what's best for this Pittsburgh Steelers football team.
"These two guys together are fun to watch. You bring in LeGarrette Blount at the end of games. He is a closer – he will close the game for you. Le'Veon Bell, he can do it all; he can run inside, he has the speed to turn the corner, he can catch the football. He's versatile, he's athletic. I love Le'Veon Bell."
Bell is second in the league in total rushing, first in the AFC, with 315 yards, and if he has his wish the running game will continue to lead the way for the offense.
"I love it," said Bell. "Everybody talks about this league being a passing league. We want to be known as one of the teams that runs the football. That is what we are trying to do."
Both players put up 100 yard games last week against the Carolina Panthers, Bell accounting for 147 yards and Blount 118 yards. But they know those numbers are going to be tough to replicate on a weekly basis.
"It's a tough league," said Blount. "There are a lot of guys in this league that can play football, so we are not going to have that performance every week. That is what we envision though. That is what we want to do for sure."
Getting those yards this year is easier for Bell not just because he came into the season healthy, but because he came in lighter. Bell played his senior season at Michigan State at 245 pounds. He said last year he came in around 230-235. This year he is closer to 220-225 and he feels the difference.
"I feel a little quicker, a little more explosive," said Bell. "I am able to get to the hole quicker than I was last year. I felt better when I got lighter. I was 245 in college, and when I lost that weight I felt better. Once I did that I got the results. I feel better. I don't feel like I lost a lot of power."
Another thing that has aided both backs is the play of the Steelers offensive line. Offensive line Coach Mike Munchak has made a difference with preparing the line and the blocking schemes, and the linemen have picked up on it and are excelling.
"They are amazing. I feel like they are the best offensive line in the game," said Blount. "Even when we have a guy down we don't miss a beat. They are one of the best offensive lines I played behind. They are huge guys, they are all big, they all can run and they are all strong. There aren't times you see them miss blocks or protections. We have clean holes. Every game is not going to be perfect, every run is not going to be perfect, but by the end of the day you see things click for us and those guys go out and work their tails off for us."
The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.