Reggie Bush and Joique Bell a dynamic duo in Lions backfield

Posted Dec 4, 2013

Bush and Bell -- "1A and 1B" on the depth chart -- have to be considered one of the best running tandems in the league

Reggie BushRB Reggie Bush was signed as a free agent back in March. (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

When the Lions landed Reggie Bush in free agency back in March, they instantly knew how nice of a one-two punch they had on their hands at running back with Bush and Joique Bell.

Through 12 games, the pair had given the Lions exactly what they were hoping to receive from them – balance and production.

The Lions lead the NFL in total yards per game (179.1) from the running back position. They are second in receiving yards (846) from their running backs and sixth in rushing yards (1,303).

"I think both of those guys compliment each other well," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "We have good plans for both of them. Both of them have made a lot of plays and scored touchdowns for us this year.

That wasn't anymore evident than during last week's 40-10 drubbing of the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving. The Lions amassed 241 rushing yards -- 117 from Bush and 94 from Bell — and got 104 receiving yards from their running backs.

"This last game you really saw what we're capable of when were clicking on all four cylinders and playing well," Bush said. "It is a nice balance.

"I think Joique is a great player and what he brings to this offense is something very special. He brings toughness and he runs hard and he's a very good pass blocker and can catch the ball."

Bush and Bell seem to be the perfect compliment to the others game and the Lions consider them 1A and 1B when it comes to the depth chart. Bush gets more touches as the lead back, but Bell is effective when he comes in the game and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan doesn't have to change his offense at all.

Joique BellRB Joique Bell 435 rushing yards and 378 receiving yards on the season. (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

When Bush missed the Lions' Week 3 game in Washington because of knee injury, Bell took over the lead role and finished with 132 total yards in a 27-20 road victory.

"He's kind of a jack of all trades," quarterback Matthew Stafford said of Bell. "He can do anything. We ask him to do quite a bit and he does it very well.

"He's got great feel for the game of football. Something that can't really be taught. He has great balance. Just his awareness on the field of where people are at, how to make people miss, you know that's not something he's getting coached to do it's just something he has in him.

"I think he's always had that, but he's stepped up the other parts of his game which has allowed him to get on the field to produce."

With 854 rushing yards, Bush is on pace to become the team's first 1,000-yard rusher since Kevin Jones in 2004.

Bell is on pace to finish with more than 500 rushing and 500 receiving yards.

Together, they have to be considered one of the best duos in the league.

NFL leaders, total yards per game by running backs

1 DET 12 1303 9 846 2 2149 11 179.1
2 NO 12 1101 6 991 6 2092 12 174.3
3 DEN 12 1441 13 597 2 2038 15 169.8
4 SD 12 1280 6 696 7 1976 13 164.7
5 BUF 12 1440 10 470 1 1910 11 159.2