For a team committed to running the ball, Le'Veon Bell's breakout performance couldn't have come at a better time. The rookie ground his way through Baltimore's front seven and showed good vision running for 93 yards off 19 carries for 4.9 yards per clip.
We've patched together three of those runs below -- all from the same drive -- showing off Bell's hard-charging style. He's a patient back with a knack for changing directions and searching for that extra yard. Helped by better-than-usual run blocking from Pittsburgh's line, Bell gave the Steelers a dimension they've sorely missed:
Here's what else we learned from Game Rewind and the All-22:
1. The Seahawks can do almost anything scheme-wise with Russell Wilson at the controls. In Seattle's 34-22 win over the Cardinals, Seattle dialed up a planned, zone-read run for Wilson, followed by a play-action offering and then the pass of the night, which saw Wilson drive the ball deep to Sidney Rice, who made a heady route adjustment with his quarterback on the run. Great touch, great placement:
2. We touted Jordan Reed's touchdown grab in our videos of the week piece, but the Redskins tight end deserves a second mention. Reed blew up Sunday, showing chemistry with Robert Griffin III, who did a nice job finding the rookie in space. There's miscommunication in the backfield on this play, but credit Reed for splitting coverage to give his quarterback a window:
3. Why did the Dolphinstrade forBryant McKinnie? Desperation, for one. But also a combination of Miami openly stating: (a) Jonathan Martin has been a mess at left tackle and (b) Tyson Clabo was cut by the Falcons for a reason. Martin didn't give up one sack on Sunday, but his play led to three hits on Ryan Tannehill and four quarterback hurries. He ranks 55th among tackles, per Pro Football Focus, with Clabo 68th and McKinnie 67th -- so don't expect much to change. It's a task to find tackle help in October.
4. Weirdest play of the day unraveled at Arrowhead, where Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith walked in for a 5-yard touchdown on a play call that saw runner Jamaal Charles go the wrong way. On a read option that came with no option, Smith was left extending the ball to ghosts. He shifted his focus to "getting the defensive end to pause and then hitting the hole," per The Kansas City Star. I'm surprised it was Smith's first ground score this season. He's the sixth-leading rusher among quarterbacks, and the Chiefs lean on that heavily. Anyway, here's the play:
5. I've railed against the Jets for their love of the Wildcat. The out-of-date subpackage sprung up again in New York's gritty win over the Patriots. With the game tied at seven, the Jets yanked quarterback Geno Smith for back-to-back direct snaps to Josh Cribbs followed by another to Bilal Powell (check it out below). It wasn't a disaster -- and a healthy Cribbs is one of the better 'Cat operators in the league -- but I question the impact on Smith's timing. I'm not blaming the Wildcat for Geno's pick six four plays later, but toying with his rhythm doesn't help:
6.Can we shift gears for a sec?
When it comes to the NFL's song-and-dance acts, I'm ranking the Thursday night intro -- with Ms. Priyanka Chopra -- far above Carrie Underwood's outrageous "Sunday Night Football" spectacle.
There she goes, Ms. Underwood, scolding the population as nothing more than a pack of drones "waiting all day for Sunday night." We're just a bunch of sheep to her. Soulless robots.
Chopra's message operates on another level as she chants about building bridges across society: "I know you've got your own town," she assures. "I know you've got your own ways. I know there's no place like home ... but I know you're gonna like it in my city."
Dan Hanzus backs Underwood, saying Chopra's antics have "nothing to do with football" and remain better suited for a "tourism board."
Hanzus and Underwood can have each other. We're going with Priyanka, and Lyle, our Around The League Intern, agrees: