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Everyone got in on the fun

Posted Oct 25, 2017

A look back at a memorable win over the Lions in 2001.

Steelers 47, Detroit Lions 14
December 23, 2001
Heinz Field

The Steelers came out of the gate strong and never slowed down as they rolled over the Lions, 47-14.

Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala led the ground attack with 26 carries for 126 yards, getting the start with Jerome Bettis out with a hip and groin injury.

“He played great,” said Bettis of Fuamatu-Ma’afala. “He did a great job. He was real confident. He had a lot of poise. For a running back and a young guy, it is always the patience that you have to worry about.  Sometimes, it is hard to develop patience when the game is so fast. He showed a lot of patience and did a great job.”

Kordell Stewart completed 17 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns and a passer rating of 131.2. Stewart also ran for a touchdown.

“We did a lot of good things,” said Stewart. “We converted when we needed to; we got points on the board, and the defense did an awesome job of giving us field position, and we finally converted touchdowns as opposed to field goals. When you do that, it’s a good thing. We played the way that we’re supposed to play and I’m enthused about that.”

While the offense was explosive, it was the defense that got the Steelers on the board first.

Joey Porter sacked Lions quarterback Mike McMahon, forcing a fumble that Jason Gildon picked up and took 27 yards for a touchdown and 7-0 lead. 

“We wanted to go out there and start fast and give them (the offense) as many touches as possible,” said Gildon. “That is the way we approached it.”

The Lions came back and scored on their next drive, tying the game, but it was all Steelers after that.

Everyone seemed to get in on the act as far as scoring. Matt Cushing had a two-yard touchdown reception, Stewart ran for a two-yard score, and Hines Ward caught a five-yard touchdown pass.

Plaxico Burress added a 19-yard touchdown reception from Stewart, and before the day was over Tommy Maddox came in and scored on a five-yard run.

“It was a very good win,” said Coach Bill Cowher. “I felt that we came out very focused.  Detroit made some plays in the first half – a lot of it was the quarterback who made some plays. I thought offensively we did the things that we’ve been doing week in and week out. We ran the ball efficiently; we converted some third downs, particularly on that first drive; the quarterback has been playing like he has been playing and I thought the kicking game was good.  It was a very good win.”

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Listen to the original radio broadcast of this game. Steelers Time Machine debuts on SNR each Wednesday. Click here for more information.