As the Steelers prepare to face the 0-8 Lions, Pittsburgh has to try to avoid the dreaded “trap game” epitomized by Thursday night’s matchup between the Ravens and Dolphins.
But as head coach Mike Tomlin put it earlier this week, there are no FCS matchups in the NFL — meaning the Steelers have no choice but to take the Lions seriously.
The message appears to have sunk in.
“I don’t think we need motivation,” defensive lineman Cam Heyward said Thursday, via Teresa Varley of the Steelers website. “There’s no guarantee. There’s no way to say we’ve already won the game before. The best way to do that is go out there and dominate on Sunday. We’ve been close in a lot of games and we need to make sure that we play our best game.”
Heyward noted that because the Lions are coming off their bye, they’ll be well-rested and have had the opportunity to make certain adjustments. But it doesn’t seem like Pittsburgh would be taking Detroit lightly anyway.
“They’re very competitive,” Heyward said. “I know they don’t have the record they want. They’re aggressive in their approach. Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way the first eight games, but we got to be on our P’s and Q’s to get a ‘W.’”
After starting the season 1-3, Pittsburgh has ripped off four wins in a row to enter Week 10 at 5-3. A victory would put the Steelers back in a first-place tie with the Ravens atop the AFC North.