In Le’Veon’s first game with the Chiefs, what will fans see from him against the Broncos defense?
As you all know, Le’Veon Bell has signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on a 1-year contract that could be worth up to $1.69 million. He will now add to the dynamic offense the Chiefs have; moreover, he’ll make the Chiefs backfield a lot more lethal than it was before. His first start will be against the Chiefs’ long-time rival: the Denver Broncos; now, we must analyze what we should expect with him in his first game with the Chiefs.
Where will he be?
To start his tenure, he’ll take up the RB2 spot on the depth chart, right behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and this is for a couple of reasons. The first reason is due to the connection Mahomes has with Helaire already. If you don’t recall, Mahomes and Edwards-Helaire trained together before training camp began; and, this was to jump on their chemistry, timing, being comfortable next to Mahomes, and many more instances they needed to work on.
The second reason is the fact that Bell has to become used to how the offense runs. It’s tough to grasp/feel on how a team you just signed with offense runs in only a little above a week of studying; so, the RB2 position is perfect for him as he can still learn on how the offense works and he’ll still be able to make plays on the field (when needed).
How will he be utilized?
To start on how he’ll be used in his first game, anytime the Chiefs are near the goal-line, you’ll see Bell right on the field. Edwards-Helaire has constantly struggled on the goal-line when trying to punch the ball in for six and many fans, analysts, and writers have taken notice as this is his main weakness as a running back. According to ESPN, Edwards-Helaire has the most goal-line rushes this season without a touchdown with nine, and coming in second is a four-way-tie between Joe Mixon, Big Ben, Jammal Williams, and Zack Moss with four. Bell, on the other hand, has always excelled at any area on the field; especially the goal-line, so this could open the playbook for more run plays in the goal-line formation.
We could also see Bell used in the passing game to a great extent. In Pittsburgh, Bell was one of the X-factors for the Steelers offense and widely known as one of those most versatile backs from 2013-2017; moreover, no running back had more receptions (312), targets (397), and receiving yards (2,660) than Bell did with the Steelers (through 2013-2017). These weren’t just screens and wheel routes that runningbacks normally do; he was everywhere. Don’t be surprised if you see him lined up as a receiver in a few plays next week.
Now how will he fair against the Broncos battered defense? Don’t expect some breakout, spectacular showing from him (even though that would be amazing), but he’ll put up decent stats. Here is my prediction: 7 carries, 48 yards, and a rushing touchdown along with 3 catches for 29 yards. Yes, this is shooting it a bit low, but I don’t expect Bell to have a motherload of touches in his first game with a new team and playbook. Edwards-Helaire will take a bulk of the rushing duties and Bell will come in and dominate when it’s needed.
All in all, fans from all over are excited to see what Bell brings to the table. While he won’t have a breakout game, he’ll be used efficiently through the course of the game. What are your thoughts on how Bell will play next week? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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