Culpepper gives Steelers issues in Lions’ loss

Okay, who played quarterback for the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Because it sure as hell wasn’t Daunte Culpepper.

In the Steelers’ 28-20 win over the Lions on Sunday, somebody resembling Culpepper (wearing Culpepper’s jersey) totaled 282 yards and one touchdown on 23-of-37 passing. Imposter Culpepper also rushed for 44 yards in the loss and actually kept the Lions in contention despite not having receiver Calvin Johnson, who suffered an injury and left the game.

Despite the surprising performance, Culpepper’s decision-making was as brutal as ever, which was evident in his second half interception. He was also sacked seven times and apparently bathed his hands in butter before the game because he fumbled three times. Still, he performed admirably against a tough Pittsburgh defense.

Looking at the stats, it’s amazing that the Steelers didn’t win this game by four touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns, while Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 5.1 YPC (despite only gaining 77 rushing yards). But Pittsburgh’s defense allowed Culpepper to keep the chains moving and couldn’t get off the field as Detroit converted 11 of its 18 third down attempts.

I wouldn’t say that the Steelers regressed after their convincing 38-28 win last Sunday night over the Chargers, but Mike Tomlin has to be somewhat disappointed that his team only compiled 82 yards on the ground against a suspect Detroit run defense. (Not to mention his defense allowed Daunte freaking Culpepper to keep this game close in the end.)

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