After demolishing Panthers, the Steelers have to be in the conversation for AFC's best team

James Conner may have had his streak of four 100-yard rushing games snapped on Thursday, but he probably doesn't mind. The Steelers trounced the Panthers 52-21 on Thursday night behind ridiculous performances from Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Steelers looked more complete than ever to extend their winning streak to five games. 

In the AFC, the Chiefs and Patriots are still the teams to beat. The Chiefs are 8-1 with their one loss coming to the 7-2 Patriots. It's business as usual, but the Steelers are now 6-2-1, and they deserve some credit for the way they've pulled things together after a slow 1-2-1 start. All of this comes with Le'Veon Bell mulling his return to the team, as his franchise tag remains unsigned.

On Friday's "Off the Bench" podcast, Danny Kanell and Raja Bell discuss the Steelers' rout over the Panthers, and they wonder if the Steelers can run with the Chiefs or Pats at this point. It's certainly looking like the marquee matchup we got last year may be coming into shape again as we get closer to a Dec. 16 meeting between the Steelers and Patriots. They also talk about Bell's bizarre situation, as we learn more about the CBA loopholes that his contract situation is uncovering as Tuesday's deadline approaches.

Listen and Subscribe to Off The Bench with Kanell & Bell: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

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