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For 2nd straight week, Detroit Lions neither win nor lose, settling for 16-16 tie at Pittsburgh

Detroit Lions guard Jonah Jackson, right, blocks during a game against the Steelers on Sunday in Pittsburgh. (AP photo)

By WILL GRAVES

AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH — Detroit’s long losing streak is over. The threat of a winless season still remains.

For now, the Lions will take it, no matter how ugly it looks.

The Lions slogged their way to a 16-16 tie in dreary Pittsburgh on Sunday, surviving a nearly four-hour marathon against the Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers that ended with Detroit mercifully avoiding the loss column for the first time in nearly a year.

Sure, it wasn’t a win. Still, it beat the usual alternative, a feeling the Lions (0-8-1) had endured since knocking off Chicago on Dec. 6, 2020, a stretch of 12 games over 11 sometimes agonizing months.

Like the previous week — a bye — Detroit neither won nor lost.

“I don’t know how to feel about that, necessarily,” first-year Detroit coach Dan Campbell said. “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.”

Only they didn’t. Then again, neither did the Steelers (5-3-1), who saw their four-game winning streak halted by hardly looking like a team ready for life without Roethlisberger.

The Steelers were forced to play without their 39-year-old cornerstone when he went onto the COVID-19 list on Saturday night after testing positive. Head coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger is symptomatic, leaving the two-time Super Bowl winner’s status for next week at the Chargers up in the air.

Mason Rudolph completed 30 of 50 passes for 242 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Roethlisberger’s absence. He didn’t exactly make a compelling case that he is the heir apparent.

Najee Harris ran for 105 yards and at times appeared to be Pittsburgh’s only consistent offensive weapon.

Then again, the only consistent thing might have been the steady stream of punts. Jack Fox booted it 10 times for Detroit, tying the most in a game this season.

When they weren’t punting, the Lions were manhandling Pittsburgh’s defensive front. D

Detroit Lions guard Jonah Jackson, right, blocks during a game against the Steelers on Sunday in Pittsburgh. (AP photo)

‘Andre Swift rushed for a career-high 130 yards as Detroit relied heavily on the run with quarterback Jared Goff rendered almost completely ineffective.