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What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. Lions

COIN TOSS: Lions call tails. It's heads. Steelers win the toss and elect to receive.

7:53 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers received the opening kickoff, but their opening possession was ruined by a first play false start penalty on Chuks Okorafor. On their second possession, the Steelers took nine plays to drive 82 yards, with the touchdown coming on an 11-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Pat Freiermuth. Roethlisberger completed 5-of-6 for 80 yards plus the touchdown on the drive, and he was 2-for-2 on third down – a 43-yard hookup with Diontae Johnson to convert a third-and-3, and an 11-yard completion to JuJu Smith Schuster to convert a third-and-3. The drive took 5:02, and the Steelers took a 7-0 lead with 6:12 remaining in the first quarter.

8:06 p.m. – What Went Right: Detroit went three-and-out on the possession following the Steelers first touchdown, and four plays after the punt the Steelers had the ball in the end zone again to double their lead to 14-0 with 2:54 left in the first quarter. The big play on the drive was the first one. Ben Roethlisberger hit Najee Harris with a quick pass out of the backfield, and he shrugged off a tackle and raced down the sideline for a 46-yard gain. Two plays later, the Steelers faced a third-and-6 from the 8-yard line. Ben Roethlisberger again found Pat Freiermuth in the end zone, who again made a leaping catch for the touchdown.

FIRST QUARTER: Steelers 14, Lions 0

8:24 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers may have opened the game by having to punt, but they found their stride after that and scored on each of their next three possessions. The third was a 35-yard field goal by Chris Boswell that capped a 10-play, 55-yard drive that upped their lead to 17-0 with 11:26 left in the first half. With Mason Rudolph at quarterback, the Steelers mustered one first down on a 12-yard pass to Anthony McFarland, and then Rudolph converted a third-and-4 with a pretty pass to Eric Ebron for a gain of 14. On a third-and-2 from the 17-yard line, Rudolph lofted a pass for JuJu Smith-Schuster in the end zone, but the receiver couldn't control the ball before his foot went out of bounds.

8:54 p.m. – What Went Right: Jack Fox nailed a 70-yard punt that went out of bounds at the Steelers 3-yard line, but Mason Rudolph rallied the offense for a 14-play, 93-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard field goal by Chris Boswell that gave Pittsburgh a 20-0 lead at halftime. The Steelers were helped by a facemask penalty on Austin Bryant that came on an incomplete pass on third down. Rudolph came back on the next play with a 27-yard hookup with Eric Ebron, and then on a fourth-and-1 he completed a pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster that was good for 17 yards and a first down. After a 13-yard completion to James Washington four plays later, the Steelers had a first-and-goal at the 4-yard line. Three incomplete passes later, Boswell came on to kick the 23-yard field goal.

HALFTIME: Steelers 20, Lions 0

9:25 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers added to their lead thanks largely to a 47-yard punt return by Mathew Sexton that allowed the offense to begin the possession at the Detroit 47-yard line. A 14-yard pass to Eric Ebron and then an 11-yard run by Kalen Ballage put the ball at the Lions 22-yard line. Then on a third-and-2 at the 12-yard line, Mason Rudolph converted with a 4-yard pass to Ebron. The Steelers managed a first down at the Detroit 11-yard line, but Rudolph's pass on third-and-3 was incomplete. Chris Boswell's third field goal, from 24 yards out, upped the Steelers lead to 23-0 with 7:43 left in the third quarter.

THIRD QUARTER: Steelers 23, Lions 0

9:43 p.m. – What Went Wrong: A 14-play, 82-yard drive capped by a 7-yard run by Godwin Igwebuike got the Lions on the scoreboard with 14:56 remaining in the fourth quarter. David Blough came in at quarterback for Detroit, and he made a couple of plays with his legs, and the Lions converted a fourth-and-1 on a 3-yard gain by Igwebuike. The Lions also were aided by a roughing penalty on Isaiahh Loudermilk that ended up as a first-and-goal at the 7-yard line.

Game action photos from the Week 2 preseason game vs. the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field

9:55 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It may have been nice that the Steelers added another Chris Boswell, this one from 42 yards out, to increase their lead to 26-6 with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter. But at some point, the offense has to start converting red zone possessions into touchdowns. This possession reached a first-and-10 at the Lions 16-yard line, and then Dwayne Haskins threw two incomplete passes and then was sacked on third down to bring Boswell onto the field once again.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 26, Lions 20