Steelers want to win for Le'Veon, but Raiders stand in way

Are the Steelers a playoff team without Le'Veon Bell? (1:55)

The NFL Live crew explains why Pittsburgh can remain in the playoff hunt, despite losing star running back Le'Veon Bell. (1:55)

PITTSBURGH -- Tuesday is an off day for players, so the Pittsburgh Steelers' hallways are quiet. They are especially somber because of the reality Le'Veon Bell (MCL tear) is out for the year.

But one person who spoke to Bell since the injury says Bell is "very positive" and the Steelers can "go out and win for him."

The Steelers have been decimated by injuries in the first half, with eight starters missing at least three games (nine if defensive end Stephon Tuitt misses this week). Most of the team is finding good health now, which has the 4-4 Steelers feeling poised for a breakout.

More than a breakout. An 8-0 stretch.

"I can’t see why we can’t go undefeated the rest of the way out," said corner Antwon Blake, citing the potential of a fully-stocked Pittsburgh roster.

Here's one problem: The Raiders are surprisingly good, possibly better than the Steelers pound-for-pound. Derek Carr is progressing at a faster rate than Teddy Bridgewater, Amari Cooper is approaching top-10 receiver status, Charles Woodson's still doing it, the defense makes plays and Jack Del Rio has terrific hair.

The Steelers are equipped to dig out of a significant hole. They started 3-3 last year before winning eight of their last 10. But dropping to 4-5 after a loss to the Raiders, with Cincinnati still undefeated, would complicate any playoff push. This is an early November game, but it feels like a late December game.

Now would be a good time to go out and win for Bell.