What a shitty weekend of football!!! Week 8 was not kind to me but the articles continue. Let’s take a look at the games.
Vikings 33 Browns 16
The Vikings (6-2_ beat the Brown (0-8) easily in London despite trailing 13-12 at the end of the first half. Case Keenum had a solid day with an 88.1 rating and 2 TD passes. Jerrick McKinnon added rush touchdown and 72 receiving yards but Minnesota was held to 2.6 YPC on the ground. Adam Thielen stepped up with 98 yards and a score while Rudolph added a TD.
Minnesota controlled the second half with a field goal, touchdown and touchdown in consecutive drives and held the Browns to three (3) second half points. Kizer had a 68.1 rating on the day as the rookie continues to struggle. Cleveland ran well with 5.2 YPC and 2 TDs to keep them in the game until the 3rd but ultimately played like an 0-8 team as they lost two fumbles.
Minnesota controls the NFC North at 6-2 and it will be tough to catch them. The Vikings have had a soft schedule though and things will toughen up after the bye. We’ll see if the Vikings can hold onto this lead.
Saints 20 Bears 12
The Bears (3-5) hung with the red hot Saints (5-2) in the Super Dome. The Saints started strong with a long 81 TD drive to start the game capped by Alvin Kamara for eight yards. The teams traded punts but the Bears mustered a nice long field goal drive(67 yards) to cut the lead to 4. They each traded punts again as both played solid defense.
The Saints offense woke up again and drove 80 yards in eight plays for the commanding 14-3 lead. Brees was efficient with 111.2 QB rating and 299 yards but didn’t throw a TD.
The second half started with a punt from each team but the Bears got back into the game with another long field goal drive. They seemed to score a TD on a big TD pass to Zach Miller but somehow he didn’t complete the catch in the eyes of the official. Miller had a gruesome injury on the play and will be done for the year causing more weapons problems for the Bears. The field goal cut the Saints lead to eight though down 14-6. Each team punted again on poor drives and the Saints finally responded with a field goal drive on a short field from their own 47.
The Bears didn’t respond and went 3 and out but the Bears defense made another big play and forced a Mark Ingram fumble. Rookie Mitch Trubisky showed off his athleticism with a 46-yard scramble. Trubisky hit Kendall Wright for a big first down and Dion Sims to get to the one yard with a penalty on the Saints. Tarik Cohen punched it in to cut the lead to five. The Bears failed on the 2 pointer and trailed by five still
The Saints had more fumble problems after a 53 yard pass to Tedd Ginn. Ingram fumbled again and the Bears got the ball. However, the Saints defense stood strong and forced a turnover on downs. The Saints got a short field but went 3 and out and kicked a field goal for an 8 point lead. Finally, the Bears tried one last comeback but Trubisky was picked off by Lattimore to seal the game. The Saints defense continued to carry them and the Bears offense continued to struggle in this game. The Bears fall to 3-5 and may be out of the playoff race very soon.
Steelers 20 Lions 15
The Lions found a new hilarious way to lose a game. Stafford had 423 yards passing and the Lions moved the ball 7 times into scoring position but only managed five Matt Prater field goals. Detroit was stopped and turned the ball over on downs twice inside the Steelers five yard line. Detroit is now 3-4 and must finish 7-2 to have any playoff chances. Detroit’s short yardage and goal line rushing is abysmal. The pass protection improved despite starting third string LT Brian Mihalik. Detroit had 3.2 YPC on the day and Stafford had a 91.2 rating.
The Steelers opened strong with a field goal drive set up by a 46 yard pass play to Ju Smith Schuster beating Nevin Lawson. The Steelers would get one more first down but then the Lions got a big stop on a drop by Eli Rogers in the end zone. Boswell nailed the 34 yard field goal for the 3-0 lead.
The Lions offense responded with a good drive of their own. Stafford hit Marvin Jones for 43 yards for most of the drive yardage. Detroit would get one more first down but two false starts set up a 3rd and 16. Detroit passed short and set up the Prater 48 yard field goal to tie the game at 3 points.
Big Ben hit Schuster again for 18 yards into Lion territory. However, Glover Quin stepped up and baited Ben for a diving interception. Quin made the big pick and the Lions got the ball back. Detroit’s offense failed though and went 3 and out. The Steelers did the same with a 3 and out. The Lions got one first down but then had to punt again. Finally, the Steelers went 3 and out for the second time and Detroit got good field position at their own 42 after an 11 yard punt return by rookie Jamaal Agnew.
Detroit would drive to the Steelers 10 yard line. However, on first and goal, Travis Swanson committed a huge holding penalty and set up a long 20 yards to go. Detroit would fail and Prater would nail the field goal for the 6-3 lead.
The Steelers offense responded in a big way. Brown and Bell would combine for a first down. Roethlisberger converted a big 3rd and 5 to Justin Hunter on a crossing route to extend the drive. Finally, on 3rd and 9, Big Ben threw a jump ball hitting Antonio Brown for 40 yards beating Miles Killebrew badly. Bell punched it in from five yards with good red zone blocking. Pittsburgh led 10-6.
Detroit cut into the lead on the next drive with Stafford finding TJ Jones for 25 yards. Agnew moved to offense and caught a shovel pass for 11 yards. The drive stalled but Prater earned his new contract with a 51 yard boot for a 10-9 score. The Steelers would respond and move the ball 57 yards into Lions territory. However, Anthony Zettel had other plays and got his hand on the football and caused a fumble on Leveon Bell. Glover Quin recovered as the Lions forced their 16th turnover on the year.
Detroit moved into the 2 minute offense and Stafford hit Marvin Jones for 18 yards and TJ Jones for 34 yards. Finally, Stafford connected with Golden Tate for an 11 yard first down. The drive stalled yet again inside the red zone as the Lions missed twice to Darren Fells and once to Marvin Jones. Prater booted the field goal for the 12-10 Lions lead.
Detroit got the ball to start the half but went 3 and out with a tipped ball to kill the drive. Sam Martin back from NFI shanked a punt and gave the Steelers great field position. Pittsburgh moved the ball 28 yards into the Lions red zone. Smith Schuster caught another first down and Quandre Diggs earned a roughness penalty on helmet to helmet hit. The Steelers failed in the red zone due to an Antonio Brown OPI which pushed them back. The Steelers drive stalled but they took the lead with another Boswell field goal that banked off the upright and went in for Pittsburgh.
The Lions seemed to respond down 13-12. Detroit got to mid field quickly with a pass to Marvin Jones and roughness penalty on Sean Davis. Stafford scrambled for a big first down on 3rd and 10. The ankle is healed. Stafford connected with Fells and TJ Jones for big first downs to the Steelers 4. Dwayne Washington ran for 3 yards to the one. Stafford passed incomplete on 2nd down trying to fool the Steelers. Washington was stuffed on 3rd down. With no confidence in the run game, Caldwell went for it and tried to pass. Stafford didn’t have anyone open and tried to run but was sacked to turn the ball over on downs. At least the Steelers were backed up into their own end zone with the score 13-12 still.
Bell gave Pittsburgh breathing room for 3 yards. On second down, the fullback Nix had a bad hold and the Steelers were back to their own 3. Big Ben missed to Jess James on 2nd down. On 3rd and long, Big Ben got time and hit Smith Schuster beating Quandre Diggs badly down the middle of the field. Schuster out ran Diggs and Quin and scored a fucking touchdown for 97 yards. The Steelers led 20-12.
Detroit moved the ball once again on offense down 8 points. Riddick was the store with two first downs and Tate caught a 17 yard first down to get into the red zone. Red zone issues came up again for Detroit. Stafford missed to Ebron on first down and Washington was tackled at the 2 yard line. Detroit tried to run again on 3rd and down and was stuffed at the one. This time Caldwell decided on the field goal and Prater nailed his fifth field goal of the day.
The Lions got a big stop with a 3 and out. Smith Schuster dropped an easy catch on 3rd down and Pittsburgh had to punt quickly up only five. Detroit got one first down from a pass to Marvin Jones and Abdullah 3 yard first down run. Stafford made a huge play and found Golden Tate for 34 yards. Tate made the catch and when he started running he just flat out dropped the ball. It wasn’t forced and Tate just messed up. The Steelers recovered and escaped points on them.
The Steelers up five got one first down but then Detroit rose up on defense again and made another big stop. The Lions had one more chance down five from their own 15 yard line after a great Steelers punt. Stafford move the Lions down the field again on his 400 plus yard day. Detroit got to the Steelers 11 yard line after a huge play by Eric Ebron beating blown coverage for 44 yards. Ebron had a big first down earlier in the drive too at 3rd and 3. The Lions had plenty of time at the Steelers 11. Stafford missed to Jones off his helmet on a great throw on first down. The Lions got some yardage with five yards to Tate to the six yard line. Inexplicably, Detroit tried to run on 3rd and 5 from the six yard line and was dropped for a two yard loss. Stafford was pressured on a 4th down and heaved an incompletion intended for Ebron to turnover the ball on downs yet again.
Detroit had time outs but a Darius Slay DPI and one Steelers first down ended the miserable game. Detroit dominated but couldn’t punch the ball in the end zone. The Steelers had a 97 yard TD pass and Boswell doinked the ball off the upright for a field goal were the keys to the game. The Lions lost for the third time at home and fell to 3-4 on the year. Detroit is in rough shape and need to start winning next week at Lambeau if they want any shot at the playoffs or catching the Vikings in the NFC North.
Football is stupid.