Pittsburgh Steelers stuff Detroit Lions with big play, red-zone defense in win

By Dana Gauruder, The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 29, 2017 at 11:57 PM
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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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