Le’Veon Bell ran for more yards on Sunday than any Steelers back in history and his monster day paced the team to a 27-20 victory over the Bills.
Willie Parker held the previous franchise record with 223 yards in a game, but Bell blew past that by picking up 236 yards on a snowy track in Buffalo. That also sets a new record for rushing yards against the Bills in a game as Ricky Williams put up 228 against them in a 2002 game.
Bell also scored all three touchdowns and picked up 62 receiving yards for the Steelers on a day when their passing game never really clicked. Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions and two came in the red zone to keep the Steelers from pulling further away from their hosts over the course of the afternoon. Roethlisberger ended the day 17-of-31 for 220 yards, but the numbers look better than the Steelers looked through the air.
That’s not what Pittsburgh might like to see, but the combination of Bell and their defense made it possible to overcome those other struggles. They sacked Tyrod Taylor five times and intercepted him once while the Steelers were building a 24-7 lead. Taylor picked up some yards as the Steelers went into prevent mode in the fourth quarter, but the Bills offense wasn’t much of a factor when the outcome of the game was in serious doubt.
That late flurry was enough to set up an onside kick with just over a minute to play, but Dan Carpenter, who missed an extra point earlier, couldn’t get the ball to go 10 yards.
That won’t stop the questions for the Bills brass about Taylor’s future with the team nor will the result stop the questions about just who the decision makers will be in Buffalo heading into the 2017 season. At 6-7, the playoff dreams are over for yet another year.
They live on for the Steelers, who are now 8-5 with a trip to Cincinnati ahead of them in Week 15. They’ll then host the Ravens in Week 16 in a game that could well decide the AFC North now that the Steelers have held serve in Buffalo.