PITTSBURGH -- The only thing lacking in Le'Veon Bell's explosive season is the scoring column.
Touchdowns have eluded the Pittsburgh Steelers running back despite his having gained 589 total yards in his first four games, a ridiculous 38.1 percent of the Steelers' yardage during that span. Over a full season he'd be on pace for 2,356 total yards, not to mention 120 receptions.
Bell doesn't get anxious as a runner -- he's more of a patient back, waiting for the crease -- so he won't get anxious about scoring numbers, either.
"The touchdowns will come," Bell said. "Once the actual spotlight is on, players that shine really come out and shine."
Bell's been unlucky in this department. His 44-yard run against Kansas City in Week 4 set up a DeAngelo Williams touchdown run at the goal line.
With all the moving parts and injuries across the offense the past month, Bell has been a constant since returning from a three-game suspension. More than ever, the Steelers have used Bell across the formation. He might get 20 carries in a game and still lead the team in targets, which happened in Week 7 against New England.
Bell prefers to appreciate an NFL player's body of work on the field, rather than numbers that might be misleading.
"I’m not a really big stats guy. I go out there and get the job done and do whatever it takes to win games," Bell said. "You can get three 1-yard touchdowns and have 3 yards. That’s a great fantasy day, but is that a great game?"
Bell knows any touchdown against Baltimore's elite rushing defense on Sunday will be well-earned. The Ravens rank fifth in the NFL with 3.5 yards allowed per rushing attempt. The Steelers believe that if they can run the ball on Baltimore, they can do it on any team.
If Ben Roethlisberger is out for a second straight game, Bell becomes almost like a second quarterback.
Backup quarterback Landry Jones knows Bell will make his job easier, especially with the Steelers' moving parts at wide receiver. Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton are taking scout-team reps in practice to catch up after lingering injuries.
"I don’t really have to do a whole lot, just turn around and hand him the ball and watch the show from there," Jones said about Bell. "I think we have to get Le’Veon the ball. We can’t abandon anything. We can’t just start throwing the ball every play. For us, we have a great back, a great offensive line and it’s helpful for a quarterback to lean on those types of guys."
Jeremy Fowler | espn.com | November 3, 2016