Big Play Offense; Clutch Defense Claim Victory In Detriot

By John Blattenberger

Sunday night’s primetime game showcased two high-powered offenses from opposing conferences, but it was the Steelers goal line defense and JuJu Smith-Schuster’s big night that ultimately stole the show.

The Lions held the lead twice in the game, however continuing to only convert for field goals while in the red zone proved to be their biggest detriment of the night. It wasn’t always pretty, but the Steelers eventually took advantage and made the most of their opportunities. Ben Roethlisberger had some shaky moments early in the game but when it mattered most he made the plays when needed.

Fast forward to midway in the second quarter, the Steelers offense puts together a very methodical drive that ended in a 40 yard strike from Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown that then set up Le’Veon Bell for one of his patented patient style runs for a 5 yard score that put the Steelers ahead 10-6.

The game then remained tight throughout and midway through the 3rd quarter the Lions appeared as if they were going to regain the lead as they were knocking on the door from the Steelers 4 yard line.

However, the Steelers stingy goal line defense prevented the Lions from reaching the end zone and thus forced a turnover on downs. The Steelers offense then regained the ball from their own 1 yard line and the biggest play of the game then soon ensued. On 3rd and long, Roethlisberger threw a high-arching pass over the middle to Smith-Schuster, who then took care of the rest as he outran three Lions defenders en route to the end zone for a 97 yard touchdown.

The Lions then repeatedly attempted to claw their way back into the lead, however it was the Steelers bend but don’t break defense that kept them in check. The Lions offense made plays here and there and quarterback Matt Stafford even threw for over 400 yards, however their inability to reach the end zone is what ultimately contributed to their demise.

The Lions offense had 18 snaps within the red zone but failed to score a touchdown on any of them. The game came to a close after the Steelers defense came in big yet again when the Lions had the ball at the 11 but failed to make anything of it and turned the ball over on downs. The Steelers then regained the ball, ran out the remaining time on the clock and left Ford Field sitting atop of the AFC North with a record of 6-2.

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