NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 10 Game Recap: Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Detroit Lions 16

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) passes against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions snapped their 12-game losing streak with a 16-16 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10. A heavy downpour and poor quarterback play hampered both teams, as neither offense could register even a field goal in overtime.

Detroit remains in search of its first win of the season but improves to 0-8-1, while Pittsburgh moves to 5-3-1 as it works to remain competitive in the cutthroat AFC North.

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Pittsburgh Steelers


Mason Rudolph struggled in relief of starter Ben Roethlisberger (COVID-19), finishing with 242 yards through the air on 30-of-50 passing along with one touchdown and one interception. Rudolph’s accuracy hampered Pittsburgh’s overall offensive efficiency. He consistently overshot receivers despite accruing an average depth of target of just 6.8 yards.

Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 10/12 26 100% 0
Short (1-9) 14/21 106 66.7% 0
Medium (10-19) 5/12 74 50% 1
Long (20+) 1/3 36 33.3% 0

Making only his 10th career start, Rudolph was hesitant to push the ball downfield. Just 40% of his attempts were past the first-down marker. In total, Rudolph’s incompetence combined with unideal weather conditions led to one of Pittsburgh's worst offensive showings so far this season.

Running Backs

Najee Harris continued his quest for Offensive Rookie of the Year, adding another 100-plus yard performance to his resume. He collected 133 total yards on 30 touches. A holding penalty midway through the second quarter wiped out what would’ve been Harris’ seventh touchdown of the season. The rookie also displayed some impressive shiftiness, leading all Steelers with eight forced missed tackles.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Wide receiver Diontae Johnson drew a team-best 13 targets, pulling in seven of them for a game-high 83 yards. Johnson exhibited some dynamic abilities after the catch, leading all wide receivers with two forced missed tackles in Sunday’s tie.

Wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud III set a new career-high with nine receptions, essentially doubling his production so far this season with 63 receiving yards in the tie.

Pat Freiermuth led all tight ends with 31 yards receiving, hauling in five of his nine targets. Both he and Johnson coughed up fumbles in the overtime period, all but eliminating any chance of a Steelers victory.

Offensive Line

Pittsburgh’s offensive line manhandled Detroit early and often, allowing just seven pressures while facilitating a rushing attack that averaged 4.1 yards per carry. The unit was particularly impressive in pass protection, as starting center Kendrick Green didn't allow a single pressure.

Defensive Line

Edge rusher Alex Highsmith paced the Steelers' defensive line with 11 tackles. He finished with an average depth of tackle of two yards. Interior defender Cameron Heyward was the unit’s most effective pass-rusher, converting two of his three pressures into sacks.

Defender Pass-Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks 
Cameron Heyward 28 3 2
Alex Highsmith 22 2 0
Chris Wormley 18 0 0
Isaiah Buggs 12 0 0
Isaiahh Loudermilk 12 0 0
T.J. Watt 11 2 1

Pittsburgh’s linebackers performed admirably, totaling 24 tackles while allowing just six receptions for 50 yards on their eight targets. Joe Schobert led all defenders with 13 tackles in the contest.


The Steelers' secondary neutralized an inept Detroit passing attack Sunday, as cornerback Tre Norwood allowed just three receptions for 32 yards on his unit-high five targets. Norwood also registered one of the group’s four forced incompletions. Pittsburgh’s secondary finished with a combined passer rating allowed of just 56.3.

Defender Cov. Snaps  Rec./Tgts Yds Passer Rating Allowed
Minkah Fitzpatrick 29 0/0 0 0.0
Cameron Sutton 29 0/2 0 39.6
James Pierre 25 1/2 4 56.3
Terrell Edmunds 25 2/3 4 70.1
Tre Norwood 16 3/5 32 78.8

Detroit Lions


Jared Goff was ineffective from the opening snap, throwing for just 114 yards on 14-of-25 passing. Almost half of Goff’s completions came on screen passes. The former No. 1 overall pick completed six of his eight screen attempts for 32 yards. This was emblematic of Goff’s overall performance, as he finished with an average depth of target of 5.2 yards and a mere 24% of his attempts traveled past the first-down marker.

Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 7/10 36 80% 0
Short (1-9) 5/8 26 87.5% 0
Medium (10-19) 2/4 52 50% 0
Long (20+) 0/2 0 0% 0

One of the few positives from Sunday’s tie was Goff’s protection of the ball. It was just the second game this year in which he didn't register a turnover-worthy play.

Running Backs

D’Andre Swift captained what was an overall explosive Lions rushing attack Sunday, finishing with 135 total yards on 36 touches. Despite recording a season-low three catches, Swift was once again dynamic with the ball in his hands, as he led all Detroit ball-carriers with six forced missed tackles.

Swift was supplemented by a combination of Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson, who each made the most of their limited opportunities with touchdown runs of 42 and 28 yards, respectively. Igwebuike was slightly more effective in the tie, totaling 56 yards to Jefferson’s 41 while forcing two missed tackles.  

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Wide receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond led the Lions with six targets, each grabbing four for 61 and 29 yards, respectively. Almost half of St. Brown’s yards came on a 30-yard catch-and-run on the second play of overtime. The wide receiver unit as a whole had totaled just 49 yards heading into overtime.

Tight end T.J. Hockenson, Detroit’s leading receiver heading into the contest, failed to haul in his lone target. He finished without a reception for the first time this season.

Offensive Line

Detroit’s offensive line put together an impressive performance, allowing just 10 pressures while powering a rushing attack that averaged 5.9 yards per carry. Seventh overall pick Penei Sewell thrived in his first career start at right tackle, failing to allow a single pressure in the tie.

Defensive Line

Edge defender Julian Okwara’s first career interception was the highlight of an overall disappointing day for Detroit up front. The Lions' defensive line combined for just nine pressures in the tie. The group was equally ineffective against the run, as it consistently penetrated into Pittsburgh’s backfield but continually failed to wrap up Pittsburgh rushers on first contact.

Defender Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks 
Da’Shawn Hand 40 2 0
Charles Harris 39 3 0
Trey Flowers 31 0 0
Michael Brockers 21 1 0
Nick Williams 20 2 0

Detroit linebackers combined for 20 tackles and finished with an average depth of tackle of 4.1 yards. The unit was much stouter in coverage, as it surrendered just 19 yards on a combined six allowed receptions.  


Cornerback Jerry Jacobs was the primary target of the Steelers' passing attack, as he conceded first downs on four of his seven targets while surrendering Pittsburgh’s lone touchdown. Jacobs’ 117.3 passer rating allowed was the highest of any targeted defender in the contest. No other Lions defensive back finished with a passer rating allowed above 91.7.

Defender Cov. Snaps  Rec./Tgts Yds Passer Rating Allowed
Amani Oruwariye 52 5/7 56 94.9
AJ Parker 46 5/8 22 66.7
Will Harris 44 3/4 21 86.5
Jerry Jacobs 34 4/7 47 117.3
Dean Marlowe 31 1/2 1 56.3
Tracy Walker 28 1/1 6 91.7
Mark Gilbert 18 2/5 42 70.4
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