The Detroit Lions did not win on Sunday, but at least their losing streak is techically over.
The Detroit Lions did not lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but they also didn’t win. It was a bizarre contest that finishd in a 16-16 tie. It was a cold, rainy game, and in typical Lions’ fashion they came up short of winning. No pun intended, as Ryan Santoso’s potential game-winning 48-yard field goal in overtime fell short.
Woefully short might be the more apt description.
The Lions running came was clicking on all cylinders, as the offensive line got starting left tackle Taylor Decker back from injury. Led by D’Andre Swift (33 carries for 130 yards), Detroit racked up 229 rushing yards on 5.9 yards a carry against Pittsburgh. But with head coach Dan Campbell taking over play-calling from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, third-and-longs often yielded a surrendering run call.
At least the Lions’ losing streak is over
It was frustrating to watch how the coaching staff did not trust quarterback Jared Goff to throw the football. Although Goff tried to do his best Matthew Stafford impersonation by playing through his oblique injury, it did not help the team. Goff was 14-for-25 for 114 yards, albeit with no turnovers, but his check-downs, screens, and little dink passes were not fooling the Steelers’ defense. David Blough never got in the game, as an already limited quarterback Goff was less than fully healthy.
The Lions defense improved from two weeks ago, creating three turnovers to help give the offense a chance. As expected, the offense could not really cash in on any of those opportunities.
As far as special teams go, a missed extra point of course came back to haunt the Lions as they would have been up 17-16 and not gone to overtime at all. Then Santoso’s ugly missed field goal in overtime cost them a win, with a holding penalty on T.J. Hockenson before it costing valuable yardage for the kick that may not have made any difference in hindsight.
Overall, it was just a typically frustrating game, with the silver lining the Lions did not lose. They’ll travel to take on another AFC North team next week, with the Cleveland Browns on the slate.