(Reuters) - Running back Le‘Veon Bell had a huge night and the Pittsburgh Steelers scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to overcome a plucky Tennessee Titans 27-24 on Monday.
Bell ran for 204 yards and a touchdown and tacked on 18 receiving yards for good measure as he helped the Steelers out of a 24-13 hole.
The result pushed Pittsburgh to 7-4 on the season, keeping them just a half game behind the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1) while the Titans remain a distant third in the AFC South at 2-8.
“The offensive line did a great job opening holes and I was just able to get to the second level and make a couple of guys miss, keep my feet moving and try to get first downs and hold onto the ball,” Bell told reporters.
“When we were down 11 we didn’t want to get away from our game plan. We ran the ball all the way done the field, converted it to a touchdown. We went out there and did what we were supposed to do tonight.”
Expected to get the job done, the Steelers had jumped to a 10-0 lead from an early field goal and six interception return on Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s first throw of the night.
But the home side scored soon through Bishop Sankey’s nine-yard run and the teams traded field goals to set up a 13-10 Pittsburgh lead.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger then marched his side into a scoring position late in the half only to make a critical error.
The two-time Super Bowl champion threw an end zone interception inside the final minute and then Mettenberger turned around and connected with Nate Washington on an 80-yard touchdown to flip the momentum and give the home side a 17-13 halftime lead.
Titans tight-end Chase Coffman then leapt high late in the third quarter for his first career touchdown and an upset was on the cards at 24-13.
But Bell refused to let the game go.
His five yard touchdown run to open the fourth quarter capped off a long drive of heavy involvement and then he continued to forge ahead to allow Antonio Brown to grab a 12-yard pass for the go ahead score with nine minutes left.
Bell then passed the 200 yard mark with some critical late runs to run out the clock.
Writing by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty