Despite a record-breaking performance, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford’s reminded us why he is still not be an elite quarterback, as his Lions fall on the road to the Pittsburgh Steelers 37-27.
Stafford’s 362-yard day moved him past Bobby Layne for most career passing yards for a Lion. Layne, who played in Detroit from 1950 to 1958, previously held the record at 15,700 passing yards. Stafford also threw for his 100th career touchdown pass, becoming the fourth-fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach this milestone, just behind Dan Marino, Kurt Warner, and Johnny Unitas.
“It’s not like I’m going out there trying to break records. I’m trying to win a game,” Stafford said, via ESPN. “If I do so in the process, obviously I have a lot of respect for the history of this game and this franchise, too, so it’s something that when and if it happens, I’m sure I’ll reflect on it after the fact.”
Unfortunately, these milestones will be bitter sweet for Stafford, whose Lions were unable to hold on for the win.
The Steelers started the game with a dominant first quarter performance. Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw 34 and 47-yard touchdown passes to wide receiver Antonio Brown to give Pittsburgh an early 14-0 lead.
Then Megatron went off. In the second quarter, Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson caught two touchdown passes form Stafford, including a 79-yard bomb. Johnson’s 179 receiving yards in the first half was 1oth most receiving yards in a game this season.
Running back Joique Bell also added a 2-yard touchdown run, and the Lions entered half time with a 27-20 lead. Unfortunately, a series of miscuse doomed the Lions in the second half.
After a quiet third quarter, still holding the lead, the Lions became day became a disaster. Early in the fourth quarter, Lions punter Sam Martin fumbled on a fake field goal run, which was recovered by Pittsburgh at their own three-yard line. On the very next possession, Stafford was picked off by Steelers safety Will Allen. Both turnovers proved costly, as Big Ben and the Steelers offense were able to turn both into touchdowns.
Megatron, who was unstoppable in the second quarter, was shut out in the second half by the Steelers’ defense.
While his 362 yards and two touchdowns were good enough break records, Stafford’s horrible fourth quarter, where he completed no passes and threw a huge pick, was not good enough for a win on the road.
Meanwhile, Big Ben reminded everyone that he was the best quarterback on the field, going 29-of-45 for 367 yards and four touchdowns to pull off the clutch upset.