What Happened

Well, it wasn’t a loss, but it wasn’t a win for either team on a rainy Sunday in Pittsburgh, as the Detroit Lions played the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 16-16 tie after a 10-minute overtime period. The Steelers were without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after he was placed on the COVID-19 list Saturday night. Mason Rudolph got the start and struggled after an opening touchdown drive, but did have 242 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The Lions relied on the rushing attack on this day, led by D’Andre Swift’s 130 yards, while Jermar Jefferson and Godwin Igwebuike both ran it in for scores. Detroit’s defense gave their team multiple chances to jump ahead, forcing three turnovers, including two fumbles in overtime, but that was not enough to get their first win of the season. A missed extra point proved costly, along with a missed field goal in the extra period, as kicker Ryan Santoso had a rough afternoon, and the Lions remain without a win in Pittsburgh since 1955.

What We Saw

There was so much about the final stat line, and even the play calling, that says that Jared Goff probably shouldn’t have gotten the start on Sunday, or at least lasted the entire game. Goff has been hampered with injuries and even said late Sunday that he aggravated his oblique during the game, but head coach Dan Campbell never made a switch to David Blough. That led to a reserved offense, as Goff only attempted seven passes in the first half and was just 14-of-25 for 125 yards on the day. Now it was a plus to see the rushing attack have a big day with 228 yards on the ground as a team, despite Jamaal Williams sitting out.

The reserved play calling and lack of explosive plays for Detroit prevented them from capitalizing on the mistakes that they were forcing. When you fail to convert on opportunities like that, along with the stops in the red zone, you will not win games, but with the NFL’s OT rules, you may not lose either. And let’s make sure we mention Goff’s questionable decision to throw the ball in the middle of the field with no timeouts and nine seconds left. The receiver could not get out of bounds and stop the clock, which sent us to an underwhelming finish to an underwhelming game.

What’s Next

The Lions will stay on the road next Sunday afternoon for another AFC North battle with the Cleveland Browns, who will be coming off an embarrassing 45-7 loss to the New England Patriots. Although, expect them to have running back Nick Chubb back on the field after he missed Sunday’s loss on the COVID list.