‘They Didn’t Lose:’ Internet Explodes Over Lions’ Tie vs. Steelers

D'Andre Swift

Getty D'Andre Swift shoves a Steelers player during a run in a 2021 game.

The Detroit Lions have looked hopeless at times this season to the point where folks questioned whether or not the team would lose all their games. That’s no longer going to happen after Sunday afternoon.

On a sloppy field, the Lions, despite making a ton of mistakes, managed to find a way to secure a 16-16 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was truthfully one of the best worst games in NFL history, and as a result, there were absolutely no shortage of opinions about the goings on.

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After the game, the internet was naturally fired up about the tie and had a lot of opinions on the matter. As noted radio personality Jim Rome wondered, would the Lions be popping bottles over a tie? Even if the answer is no, it’s clear some of the team’s fans might be doing exactly that.

Interestingly enough, one person who may have popped a bottle was Detroit running back Barry Sanders. As Sanders said on Twitter after the game, he was proud of the way the Lions fought on the road. Truthfully, Sanders is right. It was a good battle for the Lions even though they didn’t find a way to win in the end.

NFL analyst Ross Tucker pointed out that the Lions will not be going 0-17, thus avoiding history even if they go winless the rest of the way. To that end, the tie may have been a success for Detroit.

NFL Network analyst Rich Eisen was quick to point out that while it was bad news the Lions didn’t win, it was indeed good news that they didn’t lose, either.

Perhaps the best reaction to the tie came from Pat McAfee Show contributor and noted Lions fan Evan Fox. As the time was ticking down on the game and the team was putting the finishing touches on the tie, McAfee showed his excitment in a big way, losing his mind and running around his house and yard.

To most teams in the league, ties are an embarrassment. To the Lions, they’re cause for some light celebration all things considered.

Lions Remain Winless in Pittsburgh Since 1955

The Lions weren’t able to win against the Steelers on the road, and this tie will keep them winless in the Steel City since the 1950s. Detroit is winless in Pittsburgh since 1955, but interestingly enough, this is the second tie in the series there, dating back to 1957. Detroit does not make a habit of getting the job done historically in Pittsburgh, and this run of futility continues with this game.

Even though that’s the case, some ties seem better than others, and this one could certainly qualify as such for the Lions, even if it doesn’t for the Steelers.

How Lions, Steelers Ended With Tie Score

The Lions had multiple chances to win the game late and also in overtime, and even after getting the gift of a few penalties in the late stages of overtime, were not able to get the job done. The closest any team came to winning in the final stages was when Ryan Santoso had a shot at a 48 yard field goal but missed badly. Here’s a look at the kick:

Pittsburgh had a sloppy game themselves in the late stages of overtime, as Diontae Johnson fumbled away a catch and run in overtime that could have set up a field goal, and tight end Pat Freiermuth fumbled away another catch that would have set up a potential game winning field goal. A high snap also cost the Steelers in overtime as well.

All in all, it was a sloppy game, but one the Lions can take delight in at least escaping with a tie. That’s something everyone seems aware of after the fact.

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