Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Players of the Game

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Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) runs the ball against the Oakland Raiders during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

DeAngelo Williams

Heading into Sunday’s game, many believed what was the second best run defense in the NFL would be able to shut down Pittsburgh’s run game with LeVeon Bell out for the season, but this unfortunately wasn’t the case.

Oakland allowed the most rushing yards to single-back this season, as DeAngelo Williams carried the ball 27 times for 17o yards and two touchdowns in wake of Bell’s injury.

At 32-years-old, Williams is over halfway through his 10th season in the NFL, and the veteran back is still running the ball with similar style that he had as a rookie in 2006. Similarly to Bell, Williams has great patience with the ball in his hands in the backfield, as the added time behind the line of scrimmage allows the blocks in front of him to develop and gives him the opportunity to burst through the correct hole at the best time.

Despite his age, Williams also able to still effectively make defenders miss in space, as his ability to stay elusive late in his career often forced multiple Oakland defenders to try and bring him down. Williams also made a couple plays in the receiving game, as he brought in two underneath passes out of the backfield and turned them into a combined 55 receiving yards.

Though the loss of Bell is a step back in regards to talent in the Steelers’ backfield, Williams has proven more than capable of carrying the load in this offense, as his vision in the backfield and intangibles in space are very similar to Bell.

Next: Players of the Game: Rodney Hudson