Skip to main content

Bell rings again as Steelers' MVP

When you think of a team's most valuable player, you think of the body of work a player has put in over a season to help the team be successful.

When you think about Le'Veon Bell's contribution to the 2016 Steelers, you think MVP.

That is exactly why his teammates voted Bell this year's MVP, the second time he has won the honor, previously doing so in 2014.

Bell, who was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career, has carried the ball 261 times for an AFC leading 1,268 yards (second in the NFL), a 4.9-yard average, and seven touchdowns. He is averaging 108.7 yards rushing per game, also second in the NFL.

But he is a dual threat for the offense, second on the team in receiving with 75 receptions for 616 yards, an 8.2-yard average, and two touchdowns. Bell has accounted for 1,884 total yards from scrimmage, first in the AFC, and his 157 yards from scrimmage per game are first in the NFL. And he has played in only 12 games to date.

"The numbers don't lie," said Roosevelt Nix. "And you are talking about somebody who missed three games. Who knows what would have happened if he played in those games."

Bell had a career day in the 27-20 win over the Bills in Week 14, rushing for a Steelers' single-game record 236 yards on a career-high 38 carries. Bell also had the hat trick, scoring three touchdowns for the first time in his career, tying a Steelers' single game record for most rushing touchdowns. Bell added four receptions for 62 yards, for a total of 298 yards from scrimmage. Bell, who rushed for more yards than any back ever did against the Bills, went over 1,000 yards for the season for the second time in his career. With his performance that day he joined Jim Brown as the second player in NFL history to record at least 225 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards and three rushing touchdowns in a single game.He also tied the Steelers' record for most 200-yard rushing games in a career with two, tying Willie Parker.

"We always knew he had an awesome talent for running the ball, but I think what is most impressive is his blocking and catching the ball out of the backfield," said Ben Roethlisberger. "He is an every down back and we can use him for every situation. I think that is what is most impressive."

Bell became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 3,000 rushing yards and 1,500 receiving yards in his career, doing so in just 38 games. He reached 4,000 yards rushing in his 47th career game, the second fewest games to do so in Steelers' history (Jerome Bettis, 44).  Bell also hit the 5,000 yards from scrimmage mark in just 42 career games, setting a team record for fewest games to reach the milestone.

Coach Mike Tomlin said he continually sees improvement in Bell's game, and noted how much he has grown in the last few years.

"In all areas," said Tomlin. "Intellectually, understanding of the game, not necessarily what it is he does, but how it fits into the bigger picture. The intellectual conversations with him are much different today than they were then. Just understanding how to play the position, the nuances of the position, the protection of the ball and the protection of himself.  He's a guy who's got some talent. But equally or more importantly than that talent, he's got a desire to be great and some work ethic to boot. He's a much better conditioned athlete today. So I mean it when I say, all areas."

The following is the list of Steelers MVPs since 1969:

1969 WR Roy Jeffeson
1970 DT Joe Greene
1971 LB Andy Russell
1972 RB Franco Harris
1973 WR Ron Shanklin
1974 S Glen Edwards
1975 CB Mel Blount
1976 LB Jack Lambert
1977 QB Terry Bradshaw
1978 QB Terry Bradshaw
1979 WR John Stallworth
1980 SS Donnie Shell
1981 LB Jack Lambert
1982 CB Dwayne Woodruff
1983 PK Gary Anderson
1984 WR John Stallworth
1985 WR Louis Lipps
1986 LB Bryan Hinkle
1987 LB Mike Merriweather
1988 LB David Little
CB Rod Woodson
1989 WR Louis Lipps
1990 CB Rod Woodson
1991 Greg Lloyd
1992 RB Barry Foster
1993 CB Rod Woodson
1994 LB Greg Lloyd
1995 QB Neil O'Donnell
1996 RB Jerome Bettis
1997 RB Jerome Bettis
1998 LB Levon Kirkland
1999 LB Levon Kirkland
2000 RB Jerome Bettis
2001 QB Kordell Stewart
2002 WR Hines Ward
LB Joey Porter
2003 WR Hines Ward
2004 LB James Farrior
2005 NT Casey Hampton
WR Hines Ward
2006 RB Willie Parker
2007 LB William Gay
2008 LB James Harrison
2009 QB Ben Roethlisberger
2010 SS Troy Polamalu
2011 WR Antonio Brown
2012 TE Heath Miller
2013 WR Antonio Brown
2014 RB Le'Veon Bell
2015 WR Antonio Brown
2016 RB Le'Veon Bell

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.