With the Le’Veon Bell situation being what it is, James Conner has taken full advantage of the opportunity the Steelers have given him the last few weeks. He’s not the same player Bell is, but he’s been a pretty adequate replacement so far.
#Steelers RB James Conner (@JamesConner_) is 1 of 3 NFL players with at least 200 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards AND three total touchdowns in 2018 (Todd Gurley and Adrian Peterson).— Dom Rinelli (@drinelli) September 25, 2018
He ranks fifth among all NFL running backs with 352 yards from scrimmage through Week Three. pic.twitter.com/lbh8RlRuNJ
Last night, Conner helped seal the win when the Steelers needed to get a few first downs to run out the clock against the surging Buccaneers. On the Steelers second to last drive, Conner broke off a 27 yard run before being tackled by Jordan Whitehead. The drive ended up having to punt, but Conner helped to truly seal it at the end with a 17 yard run to give the Steelers the first down they needed to kneel it out.
Conner finished the night with 15 carries for for 61 yards rushing, along with 5 catches for 34 yards. This is the 3rd week in a row that Conner has caught 5 passes to go along with his rushing duties.
As for Jordan Whitehead, he got into the game after Chris Conte was forced to retire immediately after this play:
That stiff arm from Vance McDonald pic.twitter.com/QslKZJMQtT— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) September 25, 2018
He finished the game with 4 tackles, and even though he did bite on a few pass plays that opened up receivers for the Steelers, he can at least point to this stat:
After Bucs put Jordan Whitehead in for Chris Conte, the Steelers scored Zero point in the 2nd half pic.twitter.com/02mSde4v3F— #Bucs (@MikeInTampa2) September 25, 2018
Obviously Jordan is entirely responsible for all of that.
In either case, it was great to see two former Pitt players in a great NFL game.