September 22, 2014
by Mark Kaboly
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Now, this is how the Steelers envisioned their backfield when they signed LeGarrette Blount in the offseason.
Le’Veon Bell would set them up and Blount would knock them down.
That’s exactly how it took place here on Sunday night that led to an ever-important 37-19 win over the Carolina Panthers.
Bell rushed for 147 yards on 21 carries and Blount added 118 on 10 carries. Both had runs of 50 yards or longer. Bell outran defenders. Blount ran them over, or even jumped over them.
“He came in and closed the game out like he should,” Bell said.
It was the first time in 28 years that two Steelers running backs ran for more than 100 yards in a game. Earnest Jackson ran for 132 and Walter Abercrombie 109 as the 1-6 Steelers ran over the 5-2 Bengals on Oct. 26, 1986, at Three Rivers Stadium.
The offensive line that day was LT Ray Pinney, LG Craig Wolfley, C Mike Webster, RG Terry Long and RT Tunch Ilkin.
“I am glad to be part of it,” Bell said.
Other (quick) observations about the game:
* Lance Moore played only one snap. The Steelers decided to go with Justin Brown in the slot instead, which was curious. I asked Moore after the game if he was OK and he said he was. The only reason I could come up with of why the Steelers went with Brown over Moore was Brown’s blocking ability. But, really, I’m baffled.
* You can say what you want about the Steelers offensive line, but the unit is the team MVP, so speak, through three games. Some of that credit has to go to Mike Munchak, but a lot has to go to the return of Maurkice Pouncey. More than one player in the locker room after the game told me that he’s been a difference maker. I believe them. Oh yeah, David DeCastro hasn’t been too shabby either.
* I am waiting until the Steelers get through the next stretch of games against winless Tampa Bay, winless Jacksonville and one-win Cleveland before feeling safe in saying what kind of team the Steelers have. Right now, they can be 10-6 or 6-10. I don’t know.
* The inability to stop the zone stretch might quickly replaced by the inability to stop the pass. With Ike Taylor out for the foreseeable future with a broken arm, the defense is going to have to rely more William Gay (which isn’t bad) and Antwon Blake (which might be bad).
* The Panthers, in my opinion, gave up in fourth quarter.
* See what happens when you don’t miss tackles. I am sure there were some, but I don’t remember seeing many.
* Luke Kuechly guesses a lot … and he flops well.
* OK, be sure to check out my show on TribLive Radio on Monday from 2-3 p.m. I’ll have interviews from Blount, Bell, Brett Keisel and DeCastro.
* That 6 a.m. wakeup call is going to stink.