Gridiron Report: Steelers and Lions End Stalemate in Tie

Written By Anthony Cugini, Steelers Columnist

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions tied 16-16 on Sunday.

The Steelers never deserved to win this game. They were sloppy on offense throughout the entire game and only started playing good defense halfway through the third quarter.

With Ben Roethlisberger on the COVID list, Mason Rudolph stepped in as the Steelers starting quarterback. Rudolph completed 30 of 50 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown while also throwing an interception. Rudolph was mediocre at best as he missed multiple easy throws throughout the game. The key takeaway from this game is that Mason Rudolph cannot be the future quarterback.

Rookie running back Najee Harris had another good game as he ran 26 times for 106 yards. This was Harris’ second 100-yard game of the season.

Diontae Johnson led the Steelers in receiving as he had 7 catches for 83 yards. In the absence of Chase Claypool, Ray-Ray McCloud stepped up as he finished with 9 catches for 63 yards. The only Pittsburgh touchdown of the day was a 9-yard touchdown pass to James Washington.

The Steelers’ offense had multiple opportunities to win the game after the game went to overtime. After stopping Detroit to begin overtime, the Steelers were driving up the field. Rudolph found Diontae Johnson on a crossing route. Johnson then turned up field but had the ball knocked out of his hands. Detroit was able to recover and what could’ve been the play that won Pittsburgh the game turned into a gift for the Lions.

The Steelers had yet another chance after the Lions missed what would’ve been the game-winning field goal. A couple drives later Pittsburgh was once again moving up field. This time it was rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth that fumbled away another chance at the victory.

Despite the tie, the Steelers defense was able to pad some stats. Before leaving with an injury, linebacker T.J. Watt added another sack to his total. Defensive end Cam Heyward also had two sacks and safety Terrell Edmunds had one.

The Steelers were injury ridden throughout the game as cornerback Joe Haden, linebacker T.J. Watt, and offensive guards Trai Turner and Kevin Dotson all left the game with injuries. Stars like T.J. Watt and Joe Haden being healthy is going to contribute greatly to not only the next game but the rest of the season.

With the tie the Steelers are 5-3-1 on the season just a half a game behind the 6-3 Ravens for the division lead. The Steelers take on the Los Angeles Chargers next week. The Chargers will look to bounce back against Pittsburgh after they lost 27-20 against the struggling Minnesota Vikings. The Steelers will have to look out for the Chargers offensive stars such as quarterback Justin Herbert and wide receiver Keenan Allen.