Mutual Mediocrity For Lions And Steelers

The game between the Lions and Steelers looked to be a closer affair after Ben Roethlisberger was pronounced out due to COVID protocols. It finished as close as possible, in a 16-16 tie.

Deadlocked at half

A Mason Rudolph TD pass to James Washington gave the Steelers a 7-0 lead. which they held through the first quarter. The Lions would counter with a 28-yard Jermar Jefferson TD run in the second. Each team recorded an FG as well to head into the break 10-10. Both offenses were mediocre at best, and it was reflected in the game script.

Swift and Harris shine

Both young running backs produced over 100 yards on the ground. D’Andre Swift had 33 carries for 130 yards, and Najee Harris went 26 for 105. Both players carried their offenses, and they didn’t have much help. Jared Goff could only muster 114 yards passing for the Lions and only completed 14 passes.

The Lions did get an explosive touchdown run of 42 yards from Godwin Igwebuike, but Ryan Santoso missed the ensuing extra point. This proved costly as two more Chris Boswell field goals tied the game and sent it to overtime. Mason Rudolph threw for over 240 yards, with Diontae Johnson and Ray-Ray McCloud getting a combined 16 receptions. However, the passing game never quite led to touchdowns.

The Lions ruin their own chances in overtime

The Lions could not capitalize on the myriad of chances that were given to them to win the game. A Diontae Johnson fumble gave them a chance to win in overtime with a field goal, but Ryan Santoso missed from 48 yards. It should be mentioned that on the same drive, Goff was picked off, but the play was called back due to defensive holding.

When the Steelers got the ball back, a bungled snap led to a failed drive, and they had to punt. Again, the Lions had a chance to win but would do nothing but punt after a stalled drive.

A surprising lapse by the Steelers

At this point, it looked like a lot of Lions games have looked in the past. Too many mistakes were about to lead to a loss, and the Steelers looked to continue their run of good fortune. But just as the Steelers were getting into field goal range for Boswell, rookie TE Pat Freiermuth fumbled. The Lions recovered with 8 seconds remaining, and the game was effectively over. The Steelers also had failed to capitalize on the generous opportunities gifted to them.

It was one of those games where both teams were seemingly trying to give the victory to their opponent. There were some bright spots throughout, but a lack of clutch performances led to this bore draw. Though a tie is better than a loss I suppose, so there’s that.

What’s next?

For the Lions, they go to Cleveland in a continued search of their first win. To achieve this, they’ll need to continue to give the ball to D’Andre Swift. He is a stud, and if Jared Goff can improve, this offense can as well.

For the Steelers, they travel to LA for a Sunday night showdown against the Chargers. They will hope this missed opportunity doesn’t hurt their chances in the AFC North that grows increasingly hard to predict.

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