Hunt Report: Lions’ Tie Could Have Been Avoided With David Blough

Jared Goff

Getty Jared Goff during the Lions game against the Steelers in 2021.

The Detroit Lions did not lose in Week 10, which was a positive development for the team all things considered during the 2021 season.

A 16-16 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers ensures there will be no completely winless season for the team, but the Lions might have been able to do better than that had they only made a switch during the game at quarterback.

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It was clear watching the second half that Jared Goff was not himself. All jokes from fans aside about the inconsistent quarterback, Goff was clearly dinged-up and Detroit’s passing game wasn’t working as a result. While the Lions ran well on the ground, they didn’t pass well at all. This clip was perhaps the best example of Goff’s entire afternoon, which ended with the quarterback only completing 14 passes for 114 yards.

Missing easy throws became a Goff hallmark in the second half, but in spite of that, the Lions didn’t give him the hook despite ample opportunities. Had they gone to David Blough, they might have at the very least been able to stretch the field a bit more and found enough big passing plays for a win. That didn’t happen, and Detroit had to settle for a tie.

After the game, Detroit coach Dan Campbell stood behind the decision to keep Goff in the game, saying the quarterback believed he could get the job done on the field, and was still making decent throws.

Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Season Week 10 Postgame ShowWatch the postgame show following the Detroit Lions Week 10 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Nov. 14, 2021 featuring: 🔹Postgame analysis with Dannie Rogers and Lomas Brown 🔹Live press conferences 🔹Look around the league 🔹Play of the game Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: More Lions NFL Action: #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date…2021-11-14T22:55:19Z

“I thought about it but there again, like I’ve said, I talked to him, I talked to our trainers, I talked to (Mark) Brunell, I talked to Anthony Lynn, ‘hey he’s good, he wants to go, he’s good, he can do it.’ We hung in there and trusted him,” Campbell said.

That decision may have cost Detroit their first win of the season. A healthy Blough may have had just enough more in the tank to get the job done on this week. While the Lions should obviously stick with Goff moving forward, if he is hurt, the team will have to think hard about what to do in Week 11.

What else can be learned from this performance? Here’s a look at some other takeaways.

The Lions’ Run Game Offered Glimpse Into Future

Perhaps stunningly, the reason the Lions were able to tie this game at all was the fact that they rushed for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns on the Steelers’ vaunted defense. typically, the Steelers don’t allow 100 yard rushers let alone have a team gash them for over 200 yards, so the fact that the Lions were able to make this happen was quite impressive and galling. The Lions have been open about wanting to make their team physical, and for the first time this year, the team imposed their will offensively on an opponent. It was a big turn of events for the Lions, who are trying to become the kind of team that can batter and bruise the opposition.

When backups like Godwin Igwebuike are having bruising runs like this, it speaks to the overall depth of a team’s ground game:

Providing the Lions can keep health, the team might be able to make performances like this commonplace in the future. That’s the goal of the staff, and it was a good start to get it done against a good defense.

Julian Okwara Becoming a Star for Lions

The Detroit defense, in spite of the sloppy conditions, managed to play well all afternoon, and one of the bigger plays of the day was Okwara’s interception. Now that the linebacker has collected his first sacks in the league, he also has an interception to his credit, and it was a beauty considering he was in the right place at the right time.

It’s good to see that the Lions seem to understand how to use Okwara to his strengths, and he has been just as good against the rush as he has against the pass in recent weeks. That’s the calling card of a player who is learning and becoming more well-rounded at a very important time in his career.

Lion? D’Andre Swift, Running Back

While the Lions don’t typically like to let Swift carry the load, they might have to consider it after what he showed this week. With 130 yards on the ground, this was Swift’s best game with the team rushing the ball, and it was punctuated by perhaps one of the better hurdles on the field this season. Here’s a look:

Swift is going to be a force in the league, and typically, the Lions like to keep him fresh to use in the passing game. That might have to change a bit after this outburst.

Lamb? Ryan Santoso, Kicker

It’s hard to say one player is to blame for the team’s tie, but if there was a choice, it was Santoso. The kicker, who was in for the injured Austin Seibert, missed on an extra point which could have given Detroit a 17-10 lead. Later, he had a horrible miss on a potential game-winning field goal in overtime.

Santoso had a few chances where one boot would have given the Lions just enough points to win, but couldn’t execute. As a result, he was the goat. Such is life as a kicker in the NFL.

Lions’ Stat of the Game

3, that was the number of turnovers the Lions’ defense forced on the day. While the Lions didn’t win the game, they need to continue to find a way to generate more turnovers in order to find a win. It was no mistake that the Lions nearly won after being able to nab an interception and a pair of fumble recoveries.

Lions’ Quote of the Game

“We didn’t win but we didn’t lose, either. All you can ask for is improvement, and we improved. We did.” -Dan Campbell. Speaking to the media afterwards, Campbell offered perhaps the most profound quote on the matter, saying he believes the team improved in spite of the tie. That’s all a coach in his position can ask for.

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