PITTSBURGH – The Detroit Lions are out of the loss column! After a gutsy performance from the defense, a solid rushing attack and a hilariously ugly overtime period, the Lions left Pittsburgh with a good old-fashioned tie.
A hapless performance from quarterback Jared Goff handcuffed the Lions in regulation, though they looked vastly improved after the bye week. It was a massive improvement from the 44-6 drubbing Detroit took last time out against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Most of the team played well, with D’Andre Swift rushing for 130 yards and the defense holding the Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers to 294 yards in regulation. Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson scored touchdowns of 42 and 28 yards, respectively.
Goff completed just 11 of 20 pass attempts for 54 yards before overtime. He finished with 114 yards on 14-of-25 passing.
Ryan Santoso missed what turned out to be a critical extra point after the second touchdown.
Comedy of errors in overtime
The Lions took the ball first in overtime, but stalled after a 30-yard completion to Amon-Ra St. Brown. They caught a break when Diontae Johnson fumbled the ball with the Steelers approaching field goal position.
On the next play, Goff threw an interception that was negated by a defensive holding penalty. Two plays later, the Steelers gave the Lions 15 yards by roughing the passer.
T.J. Hockenson joined the backbreaking penalty party with a holding that pushed the Lions out of field goal range on third down. Two players later, Santoso missed a 48-yard field goal attempt that was, well, let’s just say, “not close.”
An errant snap on second down cost the Steelers 20 yards, effectively dooming their second overtime drive. The Lions returned the favor by dropping a gift-wrapped interception on third down and 26.
After another Lions punt, the Steelers drove from their own 10-yard line across midfield and into field goal range. That’s where Pat Freiermuth fumbled next to the sideline, and the ball sat right on the hash marks, where the Lions scooped it up to secure the tie.
As ugly as the overtime period sounds in writing, it was even worse to watch. But in the end, the Lions didn’t lose (for the second week in a row!), which is an improvement from the first eight games.