Bob Labriola with his thoughts on "what went right, wrong" vs. Detroit.
What went right
- The Steelers' third-down defense got off to a slow start. The Lions converted their first three third-down situations before a holding penalty on rookie OT Taylor Decker nullified a Matthew Stafford scramble and set up a third-and-12 at the Pittsburgh 27-yard line. On that play, William Gay sacked Stafford and stripped the ball loose, and then Arthur Moats recovered the fumble at the Pittsburgh 37-yard line.
- Jordan Berry's first two punts traveled 51 yards and 61 yards.
- In the first minute of the second quarter, DE Ricardo Matthews beat his man and got great pressure on Lions QB Dan Orlovsky, who ducked and just threw the ball into the left flat, where Doran Grant made the interception and returned it 39 yards for the touchdown that gave the Steelers a 7-0 lead with 14:04 left in the second quarter.
- The Steelers offense broke through midway through second quarter with what ended up being a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a 29-yard pass from Landry Jones to Darrius Heyward-Bey. The Steelers got some nice runs on the drive by Daryl Richardson, who had 22 yards on five carries with 4:29 left in the first half. The touchdown pass to Heyward-Bey gave the Steelers a 14-3 lead.
- The Lions were 9-of-13 on third downs at the time they faced a third-and-4 at their own 47-yard line. Jake Rudock completed a short pass to tight end Orson Charles, but linebacker L.J. Fort made the tackle for no gain to force a punt.
- On Detroit's next third-down situation – a third-and-1 from the Pittsburgh 24-yard line following a short punt by Will Monday – L.J. Fort broke into the backfield and dumped running back George Winn for no gain. The Lions settled for a 42-yard field goal by Devon Bell to take a 16-14 lead with 6:54 remaining in the third quarter.
What went wrong
Game action from the Pittsburgh Steelers' first preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
- On the first third-down situation of the game – a third-and-3 – Landry Jones completed a 4-yard pass to Eli Rogers, but the play was nullified by an illegal-hand-to-the-face penalty on Alejandro Villanueva. Then on third-and-13, Jones' pass was right on target for Darrius Heyward-Bey – and for yardage that would've converted the third down – but he dropped it.
- Two offensive possessions. Two three-and-outs. The Steelers' second possession was sabotaged right off the bat when Villanueva got beat to the inside by DE Devin Taylor, who then sacked Jones for a 9-yard loss.
- At the end of the first quarter, the Steelers offense had netted 1 total yard. Breaking it down, the unit managed 8 net yards rushing and minus-7 yards passing. The time of possession was 3:49.
- On the 28-yard Detroit touchdown that cut the Steelers lead to 14-10, CB Doran Grant blitzed off the right side and QB Dan Orlovsky threw a quick pass to Andre Roberts right into the flat area vacated by Grant.
- It was quite a difference for the Steelers' punting game from the first half to the second. In the first half, Jordan Berry had punts of 51, 61, and 57 yards. Berry was replaced for the second half by Will Monday, and his first punt – out of his own end zone – traveled 36 yards.
- It was a third-and-7 from the Detroit 40-yard line when Bruce Gradkowski scrambled for 9 yards and a first down, but he got off the ground holding his left hamstring. After calling a timeout, Gradkowski was taken out of the game and replaced by Dustin Vaughan.
- On the kickoff following Chris Boswell's 37-yard field goal that gave the Steelers a 17-16 lead early in the fourth quarter, Dwayne Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. When Jake Rudock completed a slant pass to Quinshad Davis for the two-point conversion, the Lions had a 24-17 lead with 13:26 remaining in the fourth quarter.
- For the second time in the game, the Steelers sent a cornerback on a blitz and the Lions made them pay a heavy price. This time the blitzing cornerback was Kevin White, and this time it was Jake Rudock who threw a short pass into the area vacated by White, and this time it was Jace Billingsley who made the catch and turned it into the 27-yard touchdown that raised the Lions' lead to 30-17 with 6:12 remaining in the fourth quarter.