By: Robert L. Porter Jr.

This weeks Sunday night football game is an interconference match as the Lions host the Steelers. Matt Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger are all set up for an old fashion shootout between two of the NFL’s top gunslingers.


Pittsburgh receives the opening kickoff and the first play is a 41 yard pass to Ju Ju Smith-Schuster. The team would continue to move down the field with LeVeon Bell but the drive would ultimately end with a Boswell field goal to give them a 3-0 lead. On the Lions first drive Stafford made some good passes as he moved his team down the field, on a broken play he found Marvin Jones Jr. on a 43 yard pass early in the possession. The drive would eventually stall and a 48 yard Matt Prater kick would knot us up at 3-3. On the Steelers 2nd drive, Big Ben and his offense moved into Lions territory quickly but and overthrow intended for Antonio Brown was intercepted by Lions safety Glover Quin. The Lions are unable to do anything after the turnover as they go 3 & out.

Brown fair catches the Detroit punt and Pittsburgh returns the favor with a 3 & out of their own. After starting the drive at the 10 yard line, a couple nice Ameer Abdullah runs gives his offense some breathing room but the Steelers defense would stiffen. The Lions punt is how the opening quarter comes to a close, we are still tied up 3-3.


The 2nd period starts with a first and 10 at the 16 yard line, 2 Bell runs gained 1 yard then a Smith-Schuster catch only gained a few and Pittsburgh would punt the ball back to Stafford and his offense. Detroit would end up getting 3 more points to take a 6-3 lead but the highlight of the drive was a slugo (slant and go) by Marvin Jones Jr. on Joe Haden for 33 yards. A better throw from Stafford could have been a TD. Antonio Brown would make his first catch of the night with 9:05 remaining in the 2nd quarter. His next catch would be a 40 yard bomb that got his team down to the 5 yard line, LeVeon Bell would do the rest as he punches it in on 1st and goal to give the Steelers the 10-6 lead. The Lions next drive looked a lot like their previous drives, they moved the ball a bit but the drive ended with a Prater kick, 10-9 the Steelers still lead. Crossing routes was the formula for The Steelers on their next possession as they moved down the field on passes to Brown and TE Jesse James But a Bell fumble in the red zone gave possession back to Detroit. With under two minutes, Stafford moved his offense quickly into Steelers territory but a pair of incompletions to Fells would see Prater come on again and kick a 34 harder to give them the 12-10 lead as we head into halftime.


Stafford opens the 3rd quarter with a quick 3 & out, the punter kicked it off the side if his foot so Pittsburgh started their next drive at the Lions 48 yard line. After an oddly long drive for such a short field, Detroit’s defense was able to keep the Steelers out of the end zone. Chris Boswell would hit the right goal post on his field goal attempt but the ball would bounce through to make it 13-12 Pittsburgh. After the kickoff, Stafford finds Marvin Jones running across the field and a helmet to helmet call adds 15 yards to an 18 yard gain. A nice pass to TJ Jones puts Detroit inside the 5 yard line and the Steelers stuffed them on all 4 plays and took over at the 2 yard line as if it was nothing. Pinned back in his own territory Ben Roethlisberger missed an open guy down the middle on 2nd & 9, he must have saw something because on the very next play he hit Ju Ju Smith-Schuster in that same area for a 97 yard catch and run for a TD making the score 20-12. Stafford and his offense retakes the field and Theo Riddick was the RB of choice as he touched the ball the final 4 plays of the 3rd quarter and has them deep into Steelers territory already as we head to the 4th.


A Golden Tate crossing route to start the 4th makes it first and goal Lions. A Stafford incompletion, 2 short Dwayne Washington runs and Matt Prater is back, this time for a 19 yard kick to make the score 15-20 Pittsburgh. A quick 3 & out was highlighted by a horrible drop by Ju Ju on 3rd down on a ball that hit in directly in both hands. Detroit looked to be in business until a long Stafford pass to Tate is hauled in but then fumbled with little contact, it would be recovered by Pittsburgh putting a muzzle on the Lions new found momentum. With 9:31 remaining in the game and in possession of the ball, Pittsburgh turned to their All- pro running back. LeVeon Bell touched the ball 5 times in their 6 plays as they were able to burn 4 minutes and 36 seconds off the clock before punting back to Detroit. Eric Ebron made an appearance on the Lions next drive as he had 2 big catches to set his team up just outside the 10 yard line. Detroit seemed poised to take the lead inside of 2 minutes but for the 2nd time they turn it over on downs inside the 10. The Steelers were the beneficiary of a pass interference call on a 3rd down to keep their clock killing drive alive and that was the and of this one. The Lions missed multiple opportunities as they went 0-5 on red zone trips in this one as they take the loss at home.


Ben Roethlisberger – 17/31 317 yards 1 TD 1 INT

Ju Ju Smith-Schuster – 7 rec 193 yards 1 TD

LeVeon Bell – 27 touches 81 yards 1 TD

Matthew Stafford – 27/45 423 yards 0 TDs

Marvin Jones Jr. – 6 rec 128 yards

Antonio Brown – 5 rec 70 yards

Golden Tate – 7 rec 86 yards