Le’Veon Bell Carries Pittsburgh Steelers To Comeback Win Over Titans


The Pittsburgh Steelers appeared to be on their way to another disappointing result against a sub-.500 team, but Le’Veon Bell wouldn’t let it happen.

Bell put together the finest performance of his two-year pro career under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, accumulating 204 yards on 33 carries as the Steelers held off the Tennessee Titans 27-24 in Nashville.

Pittsburgh (7-4) moved within percentage points of the Bengals for first place in the AFC North with a bye week approaching. The Steelers will host the Saints on Sunday, Nov. 30 to start what they hope will be a five-game sprint to the playoffs.

Postseason dreams are feasible, although they seemed a bit far-fetched with the Steelers trailed the Titans 24-13 entering the fourth quarter. However, Bell stretched into the end zone from five yards out on the first play of the final frame to cut the deficit to four points.

The Pittsburgh defense, which had stumbled frequently against rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger and the Tennessee attack, righted itself to force a punt on the ensuing possession. The Steelers offense then generated an eight-play, 65-yard drive to go ahead for good, with Ben Roethlisberger tossing 12 yards to Antonio Brown for the winning score with nine minutes to go.

The Titans (2-8) couldn’t muster anything on their next drive, either, punting the ball back to Pittsburgh with 6:58 on the clock. In vintage fashion, the Steelers didn’t surrender the ball from there, with Roethlisberger connecting to Markus Wheaton for a key third-down conversion and Bell rushing successfully eight straight times to drain the remaining time.

Roethlisberger had his second consecutive mediocre game, completing 21 of 32 passes for 207 yards. Included in his body of work were five sacks and an end-zone interception. Mettenberger (15 for 24, 263 yards) wasn’t much better, although he led touchdown drives in the second and third quarters to erase a 13-10 Steelers lead.

Shaun Suisham kicked a pair of first-quarter field goals sandwiched around William Gay‘s interception return for a touchdown, putting Pittsburgh up 13-7. However, the game turned with a 10-point Titans second quarter, capped by Mettenberger’s 80-yard touchdown toss to former Steelers receiver Nate Washington down the left sideline.

Mettenberger hit tight end Chase Coffman for a 7-yard score late in the third quarter to finish an 11-play, 77-yard drive and put the Titans ahead by double digits. Things looked bleak, but the Steelers offense found the right mix of rush and pass in the late stages against an aggressive Tennessee defense, keyed by Bell’s explosive ability.