Many are questioning how legitimate the Pittsburgh Steelers defense is. The list of quarterbacks in which they have faced is not the most competent group of names. Matthew Stafford has now joined Alex Smith as the two microscope games featuring actual competent quarterback play. The defense gave up 423 yards to Matthew Stafford in their 20-15 win over his Detroit Lions. However, the key statistic is that Stafford threw zero touchdowns, and all of his yards went for stops and field goals.
Pittsburgh Steelers key stops lead to win
The Steelers trailed 12-10 at the half. From there, the defense took over. The first drive ended with a three-and-out and a Lions punt. After a Steelers field goal, the defense bent but didn’t break. A ten-play, 81-yard drive was stuffed on a fourth down goal line stand. The stand featured three defenses from the one-yard line, one run stuff, one pass defense, and one sack, from Tyson Alualu.
From there, the Steelers scored a touchdown to take a 20-12 lead. The Lions quickly responded with a ten-play field goal drive that featured another goal-line stop at the two-yard line. Still, the score was 20-15. It was still a game that could be swung on one play. While the offense gave the ball back to Detroit, the following drive the defense forced a fumble four plays in.
This led to the units final stand. Up five, with just under five minutes left in the game, the unit had to know that a big stop here might be enough to do it. The Lions offense pushed again and got into scoring range, for now, the third time in the half. In fact, they faced a fourth and seven at the eight-yard line.
The Lions spent three trips inside the ten-yard line but they resulted in just three points thanks to the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. The defense made the key stops when they needed them. They kept the Lions out of the end zone and turned them over three times in the second half. It was enough to win this game, and the defense is good enough make this team a real Super Bowl contender.