Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has a shot at history against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday. If he can make it count, he would further entrench himself as one of the best running backs to ever play this game.
“Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell is 73 scrimmage yards from 7,500 in his NFL career,” wrote Pittsburgh Steelers PR/Media Manager Dom Rinelli. “If he reaches 7,500 on Monday, in his 59th game, he will tie Eric Dickerson for the fewest games in NFL history to [7,500 yards].”
Rinelli went on to point out that it took former Los Angles Rams running back Eric Dickerson 59 games to hit that mark. It took Indianapolis Colts star Edgerrin James 60 games, and it took Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis and then-San Diego Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson 61 games.
Dickerson still holds the NFL’s record for total rushing yards in a season, with 2,105. That said, this record is for scrimmage yards, so receiving yards are included. Bell has 5,026 yards on the ground in his career, but then he has another 2,401 yards catching the ball.
In many ways, this stat really shows a back’s true value. Total yards from scrimmage are much more indicative of the impact that player had on the game than mere rushing totals. Bell has never come close to 2,000 rushing yards in a season, but his 2014 campaign saw him put up 1,361 on the ground and 854 on 83 catches. Those receiving stats are better than a lot of wideouts, and his total of 2,215 yards on the season surpasses Dickerson’s rushing record.