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Bell gashes Titans between the tackles

AP Photo/Wade Payne

Le'Veon Bell rushed for a career-high 204 yards in the Steelers' comeback win.Le'Veon Bell became the first player to top 200 yards on the ground this season. Bell took it straight to the Tennessee Titans on Monday night and ran for 204 yards, including 196 between the tackles.

A big reason for Bell’s career night was a dominant performance by the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line, as 111 of the 204 yards came before contact.

Most rushing yards in single game
Steelers history

Into the record books

For a team that historically ranks as a run-first team, this was just the fifth 200-yard rushing game in Steelers’ franchise history. Bell rushed for more yards Monday than either Franco Harris or Jerome Bettis ever did in a single game for Pittsburgh.

Bell also became the fifth player to run for 200 or more yards in a Monday Night Football game. He joined Bo Jackson (1987), Thurman Thomas (1990), Ricky Williams (2002) and Shaun Alexander (2006).

Unexpected output

In recent weeks, Bell had been more of a factor catching the ball than on rushes. In his previous four games, he had 215 yards on receptions and 205 yards on the ground.

His 33 rushes Monday were seven more than his previous career-high of 26, set in the Steelers’ second-to-last game of the past season.

The most recent time a Steeler running back carried that many times was in November 2010, when Rashard Mendenhall rushed 36 times in a win over the Buffalo Bills.

Bell averaged 6.2 yards per rush. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no other player in Steelers history has made that many carries in a game while averaging at least 6 yards per run.

Sprinting to the finish

Bell finished strong and racked up 74 yards in the fourth quarter. That's more than he had in total in five of his previous 10 games.

In the Steelers' final, clock-killing drive, they ran 12 plays. Eight of the plays were runs by Bell, including a stretch of six straight plays. The other four plays were two Ben Roethlisberger passes and two Roethlisberger kneel-downs.