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Between the weather and the execution from the teams, it was about as messy and clumsy example of football you’ll ever see in this Week 10 matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game ended everyone’s misery with a 16-16 tie.
Each team had a plethora of opportunities to seal the victory, but each time it was squandered with inept play or boneheaded mistakes that made it a tough watch. For that matter, the Lions play calling seemed to be taken straight out of a high playbook, where it was downright frustrating to muster any energy into the game. This was one of those games where neither team deserved to walk away with a victory.
There were a few moments that gave the Lions some life against the Steelers, but then there were others you could tell were going to be the death to any hopes of a win. That turned out to be the case in this week’s studs and duds.
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It was clear very early the Lions were going to lean on the running game this week, and it showed with Swift turning in his best game of the season with a career-high 130 yards rushing on 3.9 yards per attempt. In addition, he mustered out run after run even though the Lions offense turned mostly one-dimensional, giving the Lions something they could potentially build on more in the coming weeks.
Mason Rudolph tested the Lions secondary with 50 pass attempts, and for the most part, Oruwariye rose to the challenge. Outside of the light pass interference call early in the game, he showed up with seven tackles, one being a strong tackle for loss, added in two passes defended, and recovered Marcus Gilbert’s forced fumble that gave the Lions a chance to win it in overtime. Oruwariye has been hot and cold through this season, and it was good to see him have one of his better games.
Last week, Igwebuike became more involved in the offense, and the trend continued this week, rushing for 56 yards while scoring his first NFL touchdown. He also contributed on special teams returning five kickoffs averaging 24.4 yards per return. After Jermar Jefferson went down after his touchdown run, the Lions inserted Igwebuike and did not let them regret it. Unfortunately, Swift became the bell-cow, but for the limited time Igwebuike was out there, he was electric.
With Taylor Decker’s return and Penei Sewell switching to right tackle, Matt Nelson found him back as the Lions swing lineman. Even though he didn’t start he played a vital role as an extra blocker for the Lions offense today that opened up gaps and made key blocks for the runners to gash out 229 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Sure, it did telegraph the plays, but he was a key cog in the Lions rushing attack that cannot go unnoticed.
(AP Foto/Keith Srakocic)
It has to come to a point where you wonder why Goff is still out there, and today was no different. He continued to anchor the offense with the behind-the-stick throws while also running into his own sacks setting the offense even further back. He ended the day with an abysmal 114 yards, and he would’ve ended the day with less than 100 if it weren’t for the last play of overtime. It was clear he was dealing with an injury affecting his play, and it severely limited the offense against the Steeler.
When Austin Seibert landed on injured reserve, Santoso was called up to handle the kicking duties, but after this week, the kicking woes reared their ugly head once again. After the Lions scored on Igwebuike’s touchdown to go up 16-10, Santoso missed the extra point, which turned out to be the missing point that could’ve ended this eyesore. Afterward, he has a shot at playing hero to nail a 48-yard field goal after Oruwariye recovered the fumble in overtime, but it turned into one of the worst kicks you will ever see. Rough day for Santoso, who did not help his cause to stick with the team.
It was a quiet day for the Lions receivers, but it was a bad day for Hockenson, who had a game he will probably want to forget. He only saw one target thrown his way, and that was a ball that should’ve never been thrown in the first place that was nearly picked off. He also contributed two costly penalties, a low block and then a holding call that pushed the Lions back in overtime, costing valuable field position for a potential game-winning kick. You could tell he was frustrated, and after today, no one would blame him.