With 90-plus yards rushing in each of his last three games, Bell gives the Steelers their most dynamic runner in recent history, a back who can torch opponents on the ground and play a starring role as a pass-catcher.
Pittsburgh's run game has been a ghost under offensive coordinator Todd Haley before this season. Their yards per game in 2012 (96.1) and 2013 (86.4) ranked bottom five in franchise history, a troubled stretch that compelled the front office to overhaul its personnel. After grabbing Bell in the second round of last year's draft, the Steelers added hammer-dropping LeGarrette Blountin free agency this spring before drafting the explosiveDri Archer.
"Gosh he's just such a hard guy to tackle and you sure appreciate the way they spread out the field and drop him the ball in there on those runs and even screens and use that big offensive line," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said this week, per ESPN.com's Scott Brown. "I thought really highly of him in the draft. He looks stronger but lighter and quicker (this season) and looks really good."
If Baltimore can't shut down this new-look Bell, Thursday night will get ugly in a hurry.