Pittsburgh Steelers: Loss to Bengals May Be Secondary


The Pittsburgh Steelers were hitting the field with all of their best skill position players on the field for the first time this season. The stage was set for a big match up against the 6-0 AFC North leading Bengals. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, this game went just like their season has gone. Le’Veon Bell went down with an injury early in the second quarter and the Steelers offense couldn’t get in sync.

Bell went down with a knee injury that did not look good.  In the second quarter it appeared that Bell’s knee just bent in ways that knee’s aren’t supposed too. Below is a Tweet shared by Will Brinson of CBS Sports showing how the leg was bent as he was being tackled.

Despite this injury the Steelers still have a pretty good running back in DeAngelo Williams who averaged over 100 total yards per game in his time as a starter, while Bell was out due to a suspension early in the season. He gained 71 yards on nine carries on Sunday after Bell went down. The Steelers are in the playoff race and have overcome injuries and suspensions all year, but losing Bell for the next couple of weeks could really hurt their chances.

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They faced a must win game today and have a very important game next week against the Raiders at home. It’s never good to see any player go down like this and it’s unfortunate for Bell and the Steelers because this was there chance to go on a run. This season is looking more and more like it’s not going to go Pittsburgh’s way. If it’s not one thing it’s another, but the good news for Pittsburgh fans is that the leadership of the coaches and veterans is strong enough to keep them competitive.

Nov 1, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) scrambles away from pressure against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Bengals won 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This team won games with Michael Vick and Landry Jones. This team has won games without Bell, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Martavis Bryant this season already. This isn’t something new to this year’s Steelers team, but it doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to end. Pittsburgh can still make the playoffs with Bell out for a while but it’s going to be a lot harder than it’s been all season.

Early reports are that Bell probably escaped an ACL injury as  Dr. David J. Chao, a former NFL physician tweeted shortly after the injury.

Roethlisberger isn’t 100 percent and having Bell and Williams in the backfield was going to make things easier for him to ease his way into things. Now the pressure will be on Big Ben to lead this team without one of the best running backs in the NFL.  The Steelers play the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks within their next three games and they both have stout run defenses. These teams also have a great pass rush which could be trouble for Roethlisberger.

The Steelers offense didn’t look good at all as they struggled after Bell’s injury which should be a concern moving forward. They were only able to score 10 points against the Bengals. With a match-up against a Raiders team that is looking great on offense and stout on defense the Steelers have their hands full. Oakland has scored a combined 71 points the last two weeks in wins over the Chargers and Jets and at 4-3 has already won one more game than they did in 2014.

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As for Mike Tomlin’s club, it’s been a tough year on offense as the team’s version of the “Killer B’s” has rarely seen Ben, Bell, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant in the lineup together. Of course, if the Steelers don’t find another way to win the next eight games, they’ll be getting an incomplete when it comes to the playoffs.