AFC, NFC title game matchups: Can Patriots quiet Steelers' Le'Veon Bell?


USA Today Sports’ Lorenzo Reyes makes his picks for this weekend’s AFC and NFC Championship games.

In a meeting of two of the most successful and prolific quarterbacks of this era, Sunday’s AFC Championship Game may instead be defined by one of the NFL’s top running backs.

Le’Veon Bell hasn’t buckled under the increasing workload given to him by Pittsburgh Steelers, as the bell-cow back has averaged 173.9 yards from scrimmage in his last nine games with 11 total touchdowns. With 339 yards on 59 carries in the Steelers’ two playoff wins, he set the NFL record for most rushing yards in a player’s first two postseason games.

Bell’s patient running style has captivated fans and pushed Pittsburgh to the edge of the franchise’s ninth Super Bowl berth. There’s little question that he will be the focal point for the top-seeded New England Patriots and their defense in the clash.

Bell ran for just 81 yards on 21 carries in a Week 7 27-16 loss to…

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