Reactions to Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game
Here are reactions to notable moments during Sunday's Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game, compiled by Eric Coughlin of The Detroit News.
If the Lions don't make the playoffs this season, their fans will point to this 20-15 loss.
The Lions came in at .500, at home, on Sunday night. They left at 3-4 in a league where fewer than half the teams make the playoffs.
A major storyline heading into the game was Matt Stafford being one passing touchdown away from 200 for his career. Not only did he not get it, but the Lions never scored a touchdown.
The Steelers (6-2) deserve credit, engineering two goal-line stands in the second half, with their ancient quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, hooking up with their wet-behind-the-ears wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 98-yard touchdown. Two Lions defenders were close, but not close enough.
The Lions' red-zone offense will no-doubt be tweaked, but after three-straight losses and a trip to Green Bay on the horizon, will the tweaks be enough to get this team back into the playoff picture?
The defense played well--other than the Smith-Shuster breakdown--and Glover Quin continued his ball-hawking ways, but if the Lions had a standout player it was once again the kicker, Matt Prater. He hit all five of his field goal attempts, including a 51-yarder.
Prater continues in the Lions tradition of stellar kickers, reminding some of the reliability of Jason Hanson. Unfortunately, this loss was reminiscent of Hanson-era Lions, too.
This play had the chance to be the biggest play of the night for the Lions, down 20-15 in the fourth quarter. Instead, receiver Golden Tate committed a comical turnover, severely displeasing Lions fans.
After a goal-line stand, rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster burned the Lions secondary for a 98-yard touchdown, extending the Steelers lead to 20-12.
Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs was flagged for unnecessary roughness for this vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers tight end Jesse James. Pittsburgh hit a field goal a few plays later and took the lead, 13-12, in the third quarter.
Despite a decades-long tradition of ineptitude and heartbreaking losses, primetime games still net the Lions new fans. Popcorn and stuffed animals help.
Lions defensive end Anthony Zettel continued his stellar play this season by forcing this fumble, recovered by Glover Quin. The turnover led to a Lions field goal, and the first half ended with Detroit in the lead 12-10.
Matt Prater was one of the best Lions on the field during the first half. His 51-yarder in the second quarter made the score 10-9. Prater has the best career percentage on 50+ yard field goals ever in the NFL.
Le'Veon Bell showed great patience on this touchdown run in the second quarter to put the Steelers up 10-6.
The ensuing touchdown celebration showed off Pittsburgh's impressive team mentality.
Glover Quin got full extension on this leaping interception, his third of the season and 24th of his career. The Lions defense looked good in the first half.
Matt Prater made his 11th and 12th field goals of the season to put the Lions up 6-3 in the second quarter.