It took ten weeks of the 2021 NFL season, but we have the first tie. And given how the game looked, it could not be a more fitting conclusion. The Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers played into overtime and could not figure out a winner. The final score was 16-16 and it was the first tie since the Bengals and Eagles played to a tie in Week 3 of last season.
NFL overtime rules have been adjusted over the years, but the current system provides a maximum of ten minutes. If the team that opens overtime with the ball scores a touchdown the game is over. If they score a field goal, the other team gets an opportunity with the ball. If the first team does not score, the game turns into sudden death. If both teams score a field goal to open overtime, the game also moves to sudden death.
Oh, and if you grabbed the Steelers in a Survivor pool, this potentially cleaned you out depending on the rules. The DraftKings Survivor pool does not give you a strike for picking the Steelers. The pool I was in, does.
This was a hideous version of football that deserved a tie. Just this Lions field goal attempt in overtime was a perfect definition of an ugly game. The weather was not pretty, but that might not have been a good enough excuse for this kick.
“Are the Lions going to get their first win of 2021?…— Bonus Dog Borghi (@HardFactorMark) November 14, 2021
The kick is no good. It’s not good.” pic.twitter.com/nPllbOdPPT
This felt like it would be an ugly one coming into it. Jared Goff and the Lions are winless. The Steelers placed Ben Roethlisberger on the COVID-19 IR list and had to start Mason Rudolph in his place. While Roethlisberger has struggled this season and Rudolph has had his moments, it was hard to see this game turning more aesthetically pleasing with this news.
And speaking of Goff, he finished 70 minutes of football with 92 total yards passing. It’s hard to do that, particularly in this modern NFL that is so much friendlier to quarterbacks and the passing attack. But in this ugly mess of a game, it was what we should have expected.
And fittingly, it effectively ended on a fumble. The Steelers were moving into field goal range only to have Pat Freiermuth lose the ball with eight seconds left as he tried to find the sideline. The Lions jumped on it and while they tried a “band is on the field” play to close the game, it came up short. Congrats to Dan Campbell for earning his first non-loss.