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Steelers Enemy Intel: Detroit Lions

Hopefully, Steeler fans won’t see Ziggy Ansah celebrating too much tonight.

The Steelers on Sunday night will return to the scene of their Super Bowl XL triumph when they take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The Steelers will try to increase their two game lead in the AFC North, while the Lions are coming off their bye week and will try to snap their two game losing streak and keep pace in the suddenly wide open NFC North.

Here is my analysis on the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 8 opponent, the Detroit Lions.


Matthew Stafford, who has started 102 straight games for the Lions, has not quite discovered the same magic that he did in 2016 due to hamstring and ankle injuries. A preseason injury to starting left tackle Tyler Decker (shoulder) has not helped matters and his replacement, 2014 second overall draft pick Greg Robinson, has struggled. Robinson is dealing with an ankle injury and is also out for Sunday’s game. Enter former Steelers reserve Brian Mihalik who will have the task of blocking T.J . Watt.

Since the Lions are ranked 26th in the league in rushing (84 yards per game), the game plan for the Lions will be to rely on Stafford to find athletic tight ends Eric Ebron and Daniel Fells to get mismatches on linebackers and safeties downfield. There is good news on the injury front, however. Golden Tate, who has been recovering from a shoulder injury, is expected to play on Sunday so Stafford will have his full complement of receivers. Theo Riddick (23 catches) will also be a factor out of the backfield.


One defense they have cornerstone pieces at critical positions in defensive end Ziggy Ansah and cornerback Darius Slay. The defense leads the league in takeaways with 14. Ansah has four sacks, but three were in one game against the New York Giants. Ansah needed the bye to rest his knee as he has been limited in practice all season long.

The Lions have been mostly solid against the run, not withstanding the 193 yards the gave up against the Saints before their bye week, so their game plan will to be to concentrate on stopping Le’Veon Bell and have Slay shadow Antonio Brown in man coverage. The Lions will need to force at least a couple of turnovers to win this game so getting Ben Roethlisberger to jam a few throws to a ball hawking secondary will be a main focal point as well. A rising star to look out for is DT A’Shawn Robinson. The second-year pro out of Alabama is not only turning into a solid run stopper, but he has ten passes defensed at the line of scrimmage since he came into the league.

Special Teams Notes

  • Rookie Jamal Agnew has two punt return touchdowns and a 23.7 yards per return average.
  • Matt Prater is 10 for 12 on field goals this season featuring made field goals of 55, 57 and two from 58 yards.


The Steelers have to feel good after two big wins in the conference and want to keep their momentum going into their bye week. The Steelers will take advantage of a weak Detroit offensive line and harass Stafford all night long. If they can get a couple of turnovers to give Ben and company a short field and that will make a difference. Steelers win 27-20.

Brandon is a Steelers and Pitt Panthers contributor to the Point of Pittsburgh. He can be reached at @bwalkerdadon on Twitter.

5 Comments on Steelers Enemy Intel: Detroit Lions

  1. Burgher in California // October 29, 2017 at 12:15 PM //

    Matchup against the Detroit offensive line is huge. Hoping the offense figures out how to put up 7s instead of 3s tonight. Enjoy the game and go Steelers.

  2. mark delsignore // October 29, 2017 at 8:50 PM //

    Would be a huge road win and 6-2 at the halfway pole would be really good.

    Enemy territory? Not the D
    Lots of Stiller fans in The D

    HERE WE GO!!!!!!!

  3. Dave Biesecker // October 29, 2017 at 8:58 PM //

    Hmmm. Ben way under threw Ju Ju on the first drive. The Steelers settled for yet another field goal. Now Ben threw an interception when he over threw Brown on the second drive. Is this going to be one of those games? They could use a win to keep up with the rest of the AFC.

  4. Burgher in California // October 30, 2017 at 1:09 AM //

    Great game. Amazing defensive stops. Ben wasn ?t sharp ? but good enough for a W.

  5. Kevin Schafer // October 30, 2017 at 4:58 AM //

    It’s now past Week 8. When will Ben be sharp?

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