NASHVILLE, Tenn. – They closed it out by running Le'Veon Bell seven consecutive times, by running Bell until it was time for Ben Roethlisberger to begin taking a knee.
That was only appropriate, given that the Steelers had opened what eventually became a 27-24 victory over the Titans on Monday night by handing the ball to Bell on six consecutive snaps.
Bell got his touches in between the game-opening and game-closing possessions, as well, and he turned his 33 attempts into 204 rushing yards, the fourth-highest figure in Steelers' history.
"The first drive we ran the ball six, seven times straight," Bell said. "We're coming off the field like, 'Man, we can run the ball on these guys all day.'"
The Steelers ran the ball with a plan and with a purpose against the Titans, and they won the fight because of their ability to do so.
"Running the ball is kind of like body punches in a boxing match," Bell explained. "It might not always be pretty, but you're going to wear those guys out over the course of the round, over the course of the fight and eventually knock them out.
"That's what happened."
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: Coach Mike Tomlin appreciated Bell's contributions but wanted to make sure others weren't overlooked, especially those made by the Steelers' offensive line.
"Those were not easy looks," Tomlin said of what the Titans' defense threw at the Steelers. "They got aggressive down the stretch, and there were a bunch of people in the box and (Bell) was still having an opportunity to get on a safety. I know (Bell's) going to get a lot of recognition. A lot of recognition is deserved for everyone."
Bell thought so, too.
"I love running the ball, but those guys love running the ball more than me," he said of the offensive linemen. "That's the craziest part. Those guys were confident. Those guys were energized. They were ready for this game."
Tight end Matt Spaeth credited the coaching staff for showing the blockers what they needed to see prior to arriving in Tennessee.
"Our coaches had us well prepared," Spaeth said. "(The Titans) gave us a lot of (different) things, but it was nothing we didn't practice (against) during the week."
MISSED OPPORTUNITIES**: The Steelers' 2-for-4 performance in the red zone included an 0-for-2 first half.
Roethlisberger was unable to hook up with wide receiver Martavis Bryant in the end zone on second-and-9 from the Tennessee 20-yard line on a first-quarter drive that ended with a 23-yard field goal.
"That's the throw that we worked on, putting it up and letting him go get it," Roethlisberger said. "For him being a big receiver and a big body, he needs to go get the ball and attack it, and he will. That's a lesson he'll learn. I know him and how good he wants to be. He'll make that correction."
A second-quarter march to the Tennessee 17-yard line ended with Roethlisberger throwing an interception in the end zone on third-and-7 with 52 seconds left in the first half on a ball intended for wide receiver Antonio Brown.
"Bad play on my part," Roethlisberger critiqued. "They brought a safety and I went to throw a 'sight' (adjustment) to A.B. and A.B. killed the corner and I just kind of drifted back and didn't put enough on it. He was wide open and I didn't put enough on it.
The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to face the Titans at LP Field.
"We talked because we weren't on the same page there. That's very rare for him and I, not being on the same page and it cost us. But that's my fault for throwing it."
THEY SAID IT
"He's very capable of being the top running back in the league. This guy, the sky's the limit, he just does it all. He catches, he blocks. He runs the ball. There's nothing he can't do. This guy is a special guy." – right tackle Marcus Gilbert on Bell.
"We played team ball in the fourth quarter, which was huge. That's why we finished the game." – linebacker Lawrence Timmons.
"We've been very up front that we want to be a balanced group. We want to be a group that's capable of stepping in a stadium and throwing with anybody in the NFL. We want to be a group that's capable of stepping into a stadium and running with anybody in the NFL. I think we're rounding into form in that regard, and then we can just do what the game presents to us. That's a recipe for real long-term success." – Tomlin