Many believed that the Patriots would design a game plan aimed at taking away Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. The Patriots didn’t have to.
A groin injury limited Bell to 11 snaps on Sunday night, carrying the ball six times for 20 yards.
After the game, coach Mike Tomlin was asked whether the injury changed the offensive strategy.
“No question,” Tomlin said, “but like I said, injuries are part of the game. We didn’t do a good enough job or a quick enough job adapting to the circumstance.”
The Steelers got away from running the ball, in part because they fell behind. DeAngelo Williams carried 14 times for 34 yards with a long of 15. Which means that his 13 other carries generated 19 yards.
Of course, a defense that performed like it usually does against Tom Brady didn’t help, forcing the Steelers to throw in order to close a gap that kept getting bigger and bigger.