On a night that was about rookies trying to make a name for themselves, 14-year linebacker William Gay made the first big play of the game when he sacked Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford for an eight-yard loss and forced a fumble. Fellow linebacker Arthur Moats recovered, thwarting a Lions' scoring
Second-year cornerback Doran Grant got the Steelers on the board first when he intercepted Lions quarterback Don Orlovsky and returned it 39-yards down the sideline for a touchdown and 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. Grant got some help on the play with pressure from defensive lineman Ricardo Mathews.
"It was a great play," said veteran safety Mike Mitchell. "He got the crowd into it and us into it. It was huge for momentum. It was big for him to get going. We want to be a group that creates turnovers. We had Ricardo Mathews applying the pressure. That's how we really want to play, our front gets pressure and our secondary can suffocate once we get that pressure. I was happy to see that."
Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey made a nice catch in the corner of the end zone, managing to keep his feet in bounds for the 29-yard touchdown from quarterback Landry Jones.
"I redeemed myself from earlier, dropping the ball," said Heyward-Bey. "Coach (Mike) Tomlin always tells me to stay focused and move on to the next play. I had an opportunity to show that right there. I have to improve on being more consistent on the field. Every time the ball comes I should be thinking catch and making the play."
Other standout performances came from running back Daryl Richardson, who led the Steelers in rushing with 44 yards on 11 carries. He also caught two passes for 16 yards. Richardson had 60 yards from scrimmage, which lead the team.
L.J. Fort had a solid night as he competes at the linebacker position. He finished with four tackles, tied for second on the team, and had a big special teams hit.
Game action from the Pittsburgh Steelers' first preseason game against the Detroit Lions.