Samuels rushed 19 times for 142 yards and brought in both of his targets for 30 yards in the Steelers' 17-10 win over the Patriots on Sunday.

Frequently bottled up in Week 14 by a Raiders run defense that was among the worst in the league coming in, Samuels played like a man unleashed Sunday. The rookie frequently found expansive running lanes against an over-matched Patriots front, and he particularly enjoyed success on counter plays that frequently seemed to catch New England defenders off balance. Samuels also appeared to run much more decisively than he had in his starting debut versus the Raiders, and his performance certainly has to give Steelers coaches confidence in his ability to fill for James Conner (ankle) in Week 16 against the Saints if necessary. Conner's outlook for that contest isn't likely to be known until late in the week, so owners of either player will have to monitor the situation frequently heading into the showdown against New Orleans.

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