2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Resilient Steelers rally past erratic Lions 37-27

By WILL GRAVES - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-18 02:30

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't quite ready to say they're in the playoff hunt.

They're also not quite ready to say they're out of it either.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 367 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-27 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, including two in the final 5 minutes as the Steelers (4-6) rallied to win their second straight and keep the unlikely notion of a run at a postseason berth alive.

At least for another week.

''We've got to keep this thing going,'' wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. ''Our margin for error is nonexistent right now. We feel good about this team and we're going to keep grinding.''

So do the Lions (6-4), who played brilliantly for 15 minutes and befuddled for the other 45 to fall back into a tie with Chicago for first-place in the NFC North. Matthew Stafford threw for 362 yards and two touchdowns to Calvin Johnson but struggled in the second half as Detroit struggled late.

Stafford completed just 3 of 16 passes in the second half, none of them to Johnson.

''I missed some guys,'' Stafford said. ''We had drops. We had miscues. We had all sorts of stuff that we can't do on the road against a good team.''

Even if the Steelers have hardly resembled one for long stretches of this unpredictable season. Five things we learned as Pittsburgh took another tentative step toward digging out of a massive hole while the Lions fell flat.

ROETHLISBERGER KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING: The Steelers opted to use an up-tempo, no-huddle offense to keep the Lions from substituting frequently. The plan included giving Roethlisberger the freedom to call the plays. Pittsburgh responded by posting its highest point total in more than two years behind a quarterback who insists he's not nearly ready to give up.

''We are out to play every game like it is the most important,'' Roethlisberger said. I told you guys awhile ago that I wasn't going to quit. There was no quit in me or from anyone on the team today.''

JIM SCHWARTZ LIKES TO GAMBLE: Up four points in the fourth quarter, the Lions could have attempted a short field goal to pad their lead. Instead, coach Jim Schwartz called for a fake. Rookie punter Sam Martin, who also serves as the holder, tried to gain the 5 yards he needed by rushing over the right side. He fumbled after getting hit by Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon and Pittsburgh took over.

Looking back, Schwartz doesn't think he made a mistake.

''I don't regret anything that happens in the game,'' Schwartz said. ''We're going to do our very best to win the football game. We didn't make enough plays to win this one, including that one.''

PITTSBURGH'S DEFENSE LIVES: The Lions posted the highest second-quarter total in team history when they scored 27 points. Stafford hit Johnson for touchdowns of 79 and 19 yards and did it with ease. Yet a late stand forced Detroit to settle for a field goal at the end of the first half and set the tone for a second half in which the Lions could muster little.

''We knew they'd make plays and get yards,'' Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark said. ''We just wanted to make plays and stop them when it counted and we were able to do that.''

ANTONIO BROWN MIGHT BE MINI-TRON: Johnson might be the best wide receiver in the NFL, but Brown is having the best season of any receiver in the league. He finished with seven receptions for 147 yards and two scores, including a crucial third-down grab that kick-started the game-winning touchdown drive.

''We knew run after the catch was going to be key to this game,'' Brown said. ''We knew their pass rush was going to try and heat us up.''

Brown's 74 receptions are a career high and lead the league.

STAFFORD IS A RECORD HOLDER: Stafford's lights out second quarter allowed him to climb a major rung in the Lions' record book. He surpassed Hall of Famer Bobby Layne as the team's all-time leading passer and has 16,005 yards passing in his career, more than Layne's total of 15,711. Stafford's touchdown pass to Johnson was also the 100th of his career.

The former No. 1 overall pick only needed 55 games to reach the milestone, the fourth-fastest quarterback to do that in league history.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) felt some progress in his sprained left medial collateral ligament Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Fitzgerald was pretty upset [ More ]

Julius ThomasNov 26 01:23p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Phil LoadholtNov 26 12:33p

Minnesota Vikings OT Phil Loadholt (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Geno SmithNov 26 12:23p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will return to the starting quarterback role in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, after QB Michael Vick saw only three starts. The [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 26 10:43a

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright has 23 catches on 26 targets this season. 'Every time we throw to him it's a touchdown - we'll try to find him [ More ]

R. Griffin IIINov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Colt McCoyNov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

R. Griffin IIINov 25 11:43p

The Washington Redskins are planning on benching QB Robert Griffin III for the Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts in favor of QB Colt McCoy. However, Griffin still [ More ]

Jace AmaroNov 25 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (concussion) is in concussion protocol, according to head coach Rex Ryan, after suffering the concussion in Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

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