I have been very critical of Le’Veon Bell in the past for his offseason troubles, but now you can sign me up as his number one supporter for him being the league’s MVP. Bell had a record breaking performance against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, breaking the Steelers all time single game rushing record with 236 yards. Throw in the 62 yards he had receiving, and you get an incredible 298 total yards from scrimmage. It’s the first time in NFL history that a player had that many yards and three touchdowns in one game. To put that in perspective, Le’Veon Bell was responsible for 65% of the total yards Pittsburgh gained against the Bills, and all three touchdowns. This will go down as one of the most dominant performances in NFL history.
Before yesterday’s game, most NFL pundits had Ezekiel Elliot, Dak Prescott, and Tom Brady as the favorites to win MVP. Some could argue Aaron Rogers and Matthew Stafford are in the conversation as well. As of yet, nobody has mentioned Bell in this race. Well after Sunday’s performance it’s time to put him on the top of this list. As far as stats alone are concerned, there is a strong case in Bell’s favor. He is the league leader in average yards from scrimmage 161.6. That number is the second highest in NFL history to this point, percentage points behind Priest Holmes number with the Chiefs in 2002. The next closest player is David Johnson, at 140.8, nearly 20 yards less per game. Bell is 4th in the league in rushing, but that’s with missing 3 full games due to suspension. In his first ten games this season Bell has 1,616 total yards from scrimmage, that’s second all time to Jim Brown in league history. In short, Le’Veon Bell is putting together a historic seaos
There’s always an argument over what exactly the criteria for MVP is. Is it the best statistical season, or most valuable to the team’s success? It’s hard to argue Le’Veon Bell’s value to the Steelers’ ability to win the games they’ve won. Pittsburgh has lost any semblance of a deep passing game with the suspension of Martavis Bryant, and the injuries to Sammie Coates and Darrius Heyward-Bey. The offense has completely changed to a run dominant attack centered around Bell. Add to that the fact that the injury to DeAngelo Williams has made the running game a one man show for the Steelers. If Pittsburgh goes on to make the playoffs and make a long run, it will be due in large part to Le’Veon Bell, the most valuable player on the team and the league.