Najee Harris has been on the winning side of most of his football games. Experiencing a loss is rare enough for him. But playing in a tie is a first for him and apparently, a scenario he didn’t realize was possible. According to a tweet sent out by KDKA’s Richie Walsh after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 16-16 draw against the Detroit Lions, Harris said he didn’t realize NFL games could end without a victor.
He would tell reporters he thought there was another quarter to be played until someone corrected him.
“Somebody came up and said that’s it. I’ve never had a tie in my life before.”
Harris found out the NFL rules first-hand Sunday in a slop-fest against the Lions. The two teams combined for just 32 points and the final 13 possessions across both sides ended without points.
The lackluster outcome isn’t Harris’ fault though. He ran well, carrying the ball 26 times for 105 yards with another 28 yards through the air. Harris is now up to over 600 yards on the season and on track to break Franco Harris’ rookie record.
Pittsburgh, however, seemed to rely on him less later in the game, one where Mason Rudolph threw 50 times. It was Detroit’s run game that was the story, rolling for 229 yards, most of that coming in the first three quarters. The Lions finished the game averaging nearly six yards per carry.
Harris aside, Pittsburgh’s rookie class will need to improve going forward. Pat Freiermuth had a drop and fumble, Pressley Harvin still needs to improve, and Kendrick Green’s high-snaps made for an eventful game. Perhaps this class is wearing down in the middle of a long year, one where their seasons should be over by now. Playing 13 total games, four preseason, nine regular season, is reserved for only the teams who make it all the way to the National Championship Game.
This group will have to do something they’ve never had to do before after experiencing something they’ve never experienced before. A tie.