Game Reports

Steelers Beat Lions 20-15

November 3, 2017
8 minutes read
Steelers Beat Lions 20-15

The Steelers defense had three goal-line stands and did not allow a touchdown to help them to a 20-15 victory against the Detroit Lions Sunday night at Ford Field.

The Lions came away with just three points on those three stands. In the meantime, the Steelers offense scored two touchdowns, including a record-breaker. Fans who try and hit the highest paying online jackpots may have been disappointed if the picked the Lions to win.

Rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a 97-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the third quarter, the longest in Steelers history. Le’Veon Bell ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Chris Boswell kicked two field goals.

Smith-Schuster had a career-high 193 yards on seven receptions. Bell carried 25 times for just 76 yards and lost only the third fumble of his career.

The victory improved the Steelers’ record to 6-2, tied for best in the AFC. Detroit lost its third in a row to go 3-4.

The Lions, who went and failed on fourth down at the 1 in the third quarter, decided to kick a field goal from that spot early in the fourth quarter and Prater made it from 19 yards to cut the Steelers’ lead to 20-15 with 12:54 to go.

They were within shot of another score on their next series after Matthew Stafford hit Golden Tate for a 16-yard pass but Tate then fumbled without being hit and Artie Burns recovered at the Steelers 24 with 9:31 left.

The Steelers could not get past their 41 on that series, though, and back came the Lions, starting from their 15 with 4:55 to go and trailing by five.

Stafford threw deep and Joe Haden picked it off. But the Steelers were penalized for Bud Dupree being offside. Then, with a second down at the 45, Stafford completed a 44-yard pass to tight end Eric Ebron to the Steelers 11.

The Lions moved it to the 6 then lost 2 on a third-down run, setting up a fourth down from the 8. Javon Hargrave got a push up the middle, forcing a poor pass by Stafford incomplete and the Steelers took over.

Smith-Schuster’s 97-yard touchdown catch staked the Steelers a 20-12 lead. While the longest pass, it tied for their longest play.

The Steelers had reclaimed the lead in the third quarter, 13-12, but only after they again failed to hit the end zone up close. They had a first down at the 11 after a personal foul against the Lions on third down. On second down from the 9, Antonio Brown caught a touchdown pass but was flagged for pass interference for pushing off.

That put them back to the 19 and they could get no closer, so with 9:21 to go in the quarter Boswell kicked a 38-yard field goal, his second of the game.

Detroit came back on a long drive next, but was stopped twice at the 1. The Lions went for it on fourth down and, from the shotgun, Stafford scrambled up the middle and was sacked for a 1-yard loss by Tyson Alualu.

The Steelers made it out to the 3 on third down. That’s when Roethlisberger, lined up in the shotgun in his end zone, hit Smith-Schuster over the middle at the 28. The rookie outran three pursuers the rest of the way for the longest pass reception in Steelers history, a 97-yard touchdown that put the Steelers in front, 20-12, with 3:01 to go in the period.

The Steelers scored the first half’s only touchdown but trailed, 12-10, because of Prater’s four field goals.

Bell scored on a 5-yard run and Boswell kicked a field goal for the Steelers.

On their final series of the first half, the Steelers had a third-and-1 at Detroit’s 23. Bell ran up the middle and fumbled, a rare occurrence for him. Detroit’s Glover Quin recovered at the 21 and the Lions began a drive that culminated in Prater’s fourth field goal, from 34 yards with 13 seconds left.

It was Bell’s third career lost fumble — the others as a rookie and one a year ago.

Prater broke a 3-3 first-period tie with a 37-yard field goal on Detroit’s first drive of the second quarter, his second of the game. The Lions squashed a chance for more after a first down at the 10 when they were penalized back to the 20 on a first-down holding call.

The Steelers scored the game’s first touchdown with 4:10 left in the half on Bell’s 5-yard run up the middle on first down. Bell did a nice job on the previous play by picking up the blitz block to give Roethlisberger time to heave a deep pass that Brown caught at the 5 for a 40-yard gain. Brown, double-covered most of the game, had single coverage on that one. He was held without a catch until that drive when he caught two.

The touchdown put the Steelers back in front, 10-6.

The Lions used two nice gains on the first two plays to put them in field-goal position on their next series. TJ Jones caught a 25-yard pass on first down and a run by cornerback Jamal Agnew (yes cornerback) picked up 12 more. Ultimately Prater kicked a 51-yarder for his third score to close Detroit within one, 10-9.

The Steelers and Lions were tied, 3-3, after one.

A gorgeous opening drive by the Steelers was spoiled when Eli Rogers, wide open in the end zone on third down, dropped what would have been a 16-yard touchdown catch. Instead, Boswell came on to kick a 34-yard field goal after another red-zone failure.

That drive started when Roethlisberger, after a pump fake, hit Smith-Schuster for a 41-yard pass to the Detroit 34.

The Lions tied it on their first offensive series that began much like the Steelers, with a 43-yard pass from Stafford to Marvin Jones on the second play. Detroit could do little after that, though, and Prater kicked a 48-yard field goal to tie it 3-3.

The Steelers offense moved the ball to a first down at Detroit’s 44 on the next series, but Roethlisberger threw into triple coverage high to Brown and Glover Quin intercepted.

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