2013 has been one of the craziest seasons in recent memory across the NFL. That trend continued Sunday, where the Pittsburgh Steelers inched on step closer to the impossible, by defeating the Green Bay Packers 38-31 in one of the most exciting games of the year.
Playing without outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who was a late scratch due to an illness that popped up late in the week, the defense struggled to stop the Packers, giving up a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, before watching time expire with the Packers again threatening. Yes, they did account for a score with cornerback Cortez Allens' pick-six, and they did force a key turnover late that set up Le'Veon Bells' go-ahead touchdown with a little over a minute remaining, but those were but a few splash plays.
Offensively the Steelers were on point, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger again leading the way. In all, he went 16-of-28 for 168 yards two touchdowns and one interception, while adding a third score with a rushing touchdown. Sure those numbers are not overpowering, but he played better than his numbers indicate and should have solidified a spot in the Pro Bowl. Antonio Brown also continued his Pro Bowl season, with six receptions for 105 yards, in the process setting the Steelers single-season yardage record for receivers with 1,412.
While both of those performances were good, the real story was Bell. The rookie running back took to the field and recorded his first 100-yard game, in the process breaking the dismal 22-game streak without a back over the century mark. In all, Bell, who also suffered his first fumble, carried the ball 26 times for 124 yards (4.8 YPC) and the touchdown.
The Steelers also saw the streak of injuries continue, losing both Emmanuel Sanders (two receptions with one touchdown) and Terence Garvin to knee injuries. While neither player nor Jones have been ruled out for the season finale, those injuries will be worth watching.
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