Tonight’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions had all the makings of what could have been an offensive shootout. But these two high-powered offenses struggled out of the gate, and long drives sputtered down the stretch, turning this into a field goal controlled game. In the end, though, the Steelers made the biggest plays of the night, leading them to a 20-15 victory.
Ben Roethlisberger had 313 yards with a touchdown and interception, while Matthew Stafford threw for 423 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. JuJu Smith-Schuster had 193 yards receiving and a touchdown, Antonio Brown had 70 yards, and Le’Veon Bell had 76 yards on the ground.
The first half of this game featured both offenses moving up and down the field, but neither team could finish drives, keeping this game very close at the half. Other than a touchdown run by Bell, the only points scored in the first half were field goals, and the Lions held a 12-10 victory at the half.
Chris Boswell and Matt Prater traded field goals of 34 yards and 48 yards respectively in the first quarter. A Prater field goal of 37 yards gave Detroit a 6-3 lead in the second quarter, but Pittsburgh answered with a 75 yard scoring drive, capped off by a five yard run by Bell. Two field goals by Prater of 51 and 34 yards gave the Lions a 12-10 lead at the midway point.
Boswell’s 38 yard field goal gave the Steelers a 13-12 lead, and the next drive by each team proved to be the difference in this game. The Lions marched down the field, deep into Pittsburgh territory, and elected to go for a touchdown on fourth and goal instead of kicking a field goal. The Steelers’ defense held, and a few plays later, Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster for a 97 yard touchdown pass to increase the lead to 20-12.
The Lions responded with another long drive, but once again, for the fourth time in the game, they couldn’t convert a red zone appearance into a touchdown. This time, they settled for another Prater field goal, cutting the lead to 20-15.
After a Steelers’ punt, Detroit started driving again, but a fumble by Golden Tate gave Pittsburgh the ball at their own 24 yard line. But Pittsburgh couldn’t put the game away, and Detroit got the ball back at their own 15 yard line with less than five minutes left in the game.
The Lions, once again, moved right down the field, hitting the red zone. After failing to score on the first three attempts, they faced a fourth down with exactly two minutes remaining. An incomplete pass from Stafford handed the ball over to Pittsburgh.
This was a big win for the Steelers. On a night when they didn’t play their best, this was an impressive victory in a tough environment. They head into their bye week with a 6-2 record and a commanding lead in the AFC North.
Next Game: Sunday November 12 at Indianapolis Colts 1:00pm CBS