For the first time this season, the Lions didn’t lose. They were able to take the Steelers the distance in Week 10 and gutted out a sloppy 16-16 tie on a rainy Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh.
However, they had a chance to win the game in overtime. Their kicker, Ryan Santoso, just couldn’t convert.
The Lions weren’t able to score on their first overtime possession, but they got the ball back after forcing a Diontae Johnson fumble. Detroit recovered the ball and was able to drive into field goal range.
Eventually, the Lions set up a 48-yard field goal attempt. Santoso came onto the field to attempt it, but he came up well short on the low, ugly-looking kick.
In fairness to Santoso, his attempt came in the midst of the heaviest rain of the game, so the footing on the field couldn’t have been great. Still, the critical miss represented the best opportunity for the Lions to earn their first win, as they couldn’t work their way into field-goal range again.
It wasn’t Santoso’s first miss of the day. He also missed an extra point after the Lions scored a go-ahead touchdown at the beginning of the third quarter. That made the score 16-10 in favor of the Lions instead of 17-10.
That proved crucial to the result of the contest. The Steelers were able to kick two field goals the rest of the way to tie the game at 16-all. Had Santoso made the extra point, the Steelers would have needed to score at least one more touchdown to prevent a Lions win.
This game seems like an abberation for Santoso. He had made all three of his field goal attempts and five of six extra point attempts in three games for the Panthers, so he should bounce back — especially in better weather.
Still, Lions fans must have mixed emotions about this tie. Dan Campbell and Co. didn’t lose against a heavily favored Steelers team, but the Lions were also just a kick away from winning.