NFL GAME RECAP

Steelers stuff Lions with big play, red-zone defense

The Sports Xchange

October 29, 2017 at 10:52 pm.

Oct 29, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) makes a catch against Detroit Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs (28) for a 97 yard touchdown reception from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (not pictured) during the third quarter at Ford Field. Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 29, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) makes a catch against Detroit Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs (28) for a 97 yard touchdown reception from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (not pictured) during the third quarter at Ford Field. Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — Ben Roethlisberger connected with rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on a 97-yard touchdown, the longest pass play in Pittsburgh history, and the Steelers held off the Detroit Lions 20-15 on Sunday night at Ford Field.

Roethlisberger completed 17 of 31 passes for 313 yards. Smith-Schuster hauled in seven of those passes for 193 yards. Le’Veon Bell rushed for 76 yards on 25 carries, including a 5-yard touchdown, for the Steelers (6-2).

Matthew Stafford completed 27 of 45 passes for 423 yards for the Lions (3-4), but they couldn’t score a touchdown. Matt Prater accounted for all of Detroit’s points with five field goals.

The Lions had won their last five games after a bye week.

Chris Boswell’s 38-yard field goal, which banked off the right upright, put Pittsburgh on top 13-12 in the third quarter. The Lions drove down the field when they got the ball back, but stalled at the Steelers’ 1. Stafford was dropped for a 1-yard loss by defensive lineman Tyson Alualu on fourth down.

Smith-Schuster then got behind cornerback Quandre Diggs on third down, caught Roethlisberger’s pass at the Steelers’ 28 and streaked to the end zone to make it 20-12.

Prater’s 19-yard field goal with 12:54 remaining pulled Detroit within five. Golden Tate fumbled away the ball after a 34-yard completion to end the Lions’ next drive.

Detroit got the ball back on its 15 with 4:55 left. Tight end Eric Ebron’s 44-yard reception moved the Lions to the Pittsburgh 11. On fourth-and-7, Stafford was pressured and threw an incompletion.

Smith-Schuster’s final reception gave Pittsburgh a clinching first down.

Prater kicked four first-half field goals to give the Lions a 12-10 halftime lead.

The teams traded field goals on their opening possessions. Boswell drilled a 34-yarder for the Steelers, and Prater nailed a 48-yard try.

Prater’s 37-yard field goal with 9:11 left in the half made it 6-3.

Pittsburgh regained the lead on Bell’s 5-yard touchdown run. Antonio Brown’s 44-yard, third-down reception immediately preceded that score.

Prater’s 51-yard field goal with 2:14 remaining in the half cut the Steelers’ lead to one.

Lions safety Glover Quin recovered a Bell fumble inside the Detroit 25, giving his team another possession. It cashed in with Prater’s 34-yard field goal.

NOTES: Steelers WR Martavis Bryant, who complained about his limited usage on social media, was inactive. … Pittsburgh T Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) and DE Stephon Tuitt (back) were also inactive. Detroit WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring) missed his fourth consecutive game and T Greg Robinson (ankle) also sat out. … Lions G T.J. Lang made his 100th career start. … Pittsburgh has won nine of the last 10 meetings, though the teams hadn’t squared off since 2013. … The Lions head to Green Bay next week for a Monday night showdown. The Steelers have a bye week.

 

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