NFL

​I didn't even know you could tie! – Confusion and frustration for Steelers against Lions

By Sports Desk November 15, 2021

A tie is a rare result in the NFL, but for Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris the 16-16 stalemate against the Detroit Lions came as a complete shock.

The first tie since Week 3 of the 2020 season took place on Sunday, with the Lions avoiding defeat but unable to earn a first win of 2021 after missing a field goal to win in overtime.

There was also disappointment for the Steelers, who were in prime position to win on multiple occasions in a chaotic extra 10 minutes.even with starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger absent due to coronavirus.

First-round draft pick Harris, who ran for 105 yards and caught all four of his targets for a further 28, had no idea game was over. 

"I didn't even know you could tie in the NFL," Harris said, per ESPN. "In my mind, I was sitting on the bench saying, 'I've got another quarter to go'. 

"But someone came to me and said, 'That's it'. I've never had a tie in my life before."

The Steelers (5-3-1) fumbled twice in overtime through Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth, meaning they failed to take full advantage of losses for the AFC North rivals the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.

"Ties suck," added Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward. "I know it's a tie, but if it's not a win, I don't think you can really hang your hat on that."

Linebacker Joe Schobert added: "A tie in the NFL always feels like a loss when you get to the locker room because you're not adding one to the win column.

"It's a half-game. It might make a difference in the end. To let it slip away when you're that close definitely hurts."

But it could have been worse for the Steelers as the Lions (0-8-1) missed a golden opportunity to claim what would have been their first win since last December.

Ryan Santoso had a 48-yard field goal to win the game for the Lions, but saw his kick come up short of the goalposts.

There have now been 14 overtime games this season through 10 weeks of the season – only in 1995 (when there were 18) has there been more at this stage of an NFL campaign.

While games going beyond regulation have been common in 2021, this was the first to end all square, with Lions head coach Dan Campbell unsure how to feel.

"I'm in this twilight zone," he said. "I don't know what this is, really, and I'm sure I've been in a tie before as a player, but for some reason I can't remember that, if it was.

"I don't know how to feel about that, necessarily.

"It's like I told the guys, I was upset we didn't win, but I was also proud of them because of the fact that we put ourselves in position to win the game in overtime.

"We didn't win, but we didn't lose either. All you can ask for is improvement and we improved."

Star Steelers pass-rusher T.J. Watt went down with hip and knee injuries in the third quarter and was unable to return.

He did register a sack on Jared Goff in the play that caused his departure, meaning he has 62 in his career through his first 70 games. 

That is the second-best total ever, behind only Hall of Famer Reggie White (79) and above Derrick Thomas (61) and his brother J.J. (61).

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