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|11-17-2013, 04:51 PM||#1|
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Steelers beat Lions 37-27
Steelers beat Lions 37-27
November 17, 2013 4:42 PM
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers blew a two-touchdown lead in the second quarter, then came back themselves to pull out a 37-27 victory over the Detroit Lions today at Heinz Field.
Trailing 27-23, the Steelers scored two touchdowns in the final 4:46 to improve their record to 4-6. The Lions fell to 6-4.
Detroit had wiped out a 14-0 first-quarter Steelers lead to go ahead 27-20 at halftime – then did not score again. Calvin Johnson caught six passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the first half for Detroit – and did not catch a pass in the second half.
Ben Roethlisberger’s 1-yard pass to fullback Will Johnson with 4:46 to go put them ahead 30-27.
Will Allen then intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass and ran it back 27 yards to Detroits’ 34. The Steelers then put it away when Roethlisberger faked a screen and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery with 2:29 left in the game.
Roethlisberger (29 of 45, 367 yards) threw four touchdown passes, two to Antonio Brown, who caught seven for 147 yards.
Leading 27-23, the Lions passed up a chance to go back up by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter when they lined up for a 27-yard field goal and faked it. Holder Sam Martin, the punter, ran to the right and picked up three yards to the Steelers 7, where he fumbled. The Steelers recovered at their three.
The Steelers then went on a 97-yard drive to reclaim the lead, 30-27, for good.
On that drive, Mike Tomlin decided to go for it on fourth-and-two at Detroit’s 36 and Roethlisberger passed to Le’Veon Bell for three yards.
The touchdown pass to Will Johnson came on second down after a Jonathan Dwyer dive got nothing on first down.
Detroit held a 27-23 lead over the Steelers at the end of the third quarter.
The Steelers had a first down at the Detroit half yard line with a chance to tie and had to settle for a 21-yard Shaun Suisham field goal, the Lions holding onto their lead at 27-23.
From the one, Bell ran for no gain, Roethlisberger overthrew a wide open David Paulson in the end zone and on third down, Bell slipped after taking the handoff for a 1-yard loss.
The Steelers blew a two touchdown lead in the second quarter as the Lions roared from behind to take a 27-20 lead at halftime.
The Steelers led after one quarter 14-0 and 17-3 nearly five minutes into the second quarter.
Ike Taylor had perhaps the most miserable quarter in his 11 seasons in the league, trying to cover Calvin Johnson.
Johnson, quiet until then, exploded in a big way in the second quarter. He caught six passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns, beating Taylor on single coverage on both scores and five of his receptions.
In addition, Taylor dropped two passes that would have been easy interceptions, hitting him squarely in the hands or chest. It got worse. Taylor also was called for holding Johnson that was declined because the Lions receiver caught it for a 22-yard reception to the Steelers four. On the next play, Taylor was penalized for pass interference in the end zone to put the ball at the one.
The Steelers came away fortunate on that because they held the Lions to David Akers’ 19-yard field goal with four seconds to go in the half.
Taylor also dropped an interception that hit him right in the belly at the Detroit 42 that was intended for Johnson. On the next play, Johnson beat Taylor for 23 yards and a first down at the Steeleres 39 with two minutes to go in the half.
On the play after that, Matthew Stafford threw a short pass to backup halfback Joique Bell, who turned it into a 37-yard pickup to the Steelers two. One play later, Bell crashed over for a 2-yard touchdown and Detroit finally had the lead 24-20.
Johnson’s first touchdown came almost five minutes into the second quarter.
Detroit set up at the 21 after the kickoff following Shaun Suisham’s 25-yard field goal that put the Steelers on top 17-3. On first down, Stafford dropped back to pass and linebacker Jason Worilds had a clear shot at him. Worilds, though, overan him and Stafford cut loose deep. Johnson, wide open, caught the ball at the Steelers 35. Ike Taylor, in single coverage, had a clear shot at bringing him down there but missed the tackle as Johnson easily covered the rest of the distance for a 79-yard touchdown play.
It was the ninth play over 50 yards against the Steelers defense this season.
The Steelers responded with a score of their own on the next series, another Suisham field goal, this one from 34 yards.
They had score an apparent 12-yard touchdown to Heath Miller nullified. Miller made a high leaping catch in the end zone, hit the ground and then the ball came out. Under rules that apply to receivers only in the end zone, it did not constitute a completion of the catch.
The Steelers led 20-10.
But the Lions, warming up in the rainy Pittsburgh weather, struck again -- and again used some big plays to do so.
On third-and-11, tight end Brandon Pettigrew was wide open for a 31-yard catch from Stafford. On the next play, Kris Durham beat Troy Polamalu for 25 yards. And on the very next play, Johnson again beat Ike Taylor for a 19-yard touchdown.
It was now Steelers 20-17.
The Lions and Steelers traded field goals earlier in the second quarter as the Steelers maintained their 14-point lead, 17-3.
Detroit had a chance to close the gap with a first down at the Steelers’ 45 after a punt return. However, on their first play, Will Allen stripped Reggie Bush of the ball, Lawrence Timmons recovered and returned it 29 yards to the Lions 32.
Shaun Suisham turned it into three points with a 25-yard field goal.
Earlier in the second quarter, David Akers kicked a 35-yard field goal for Detroit.
Antonio Brown had turned two short passes into long touchdowns as the Steelers scored on their first two series of the game to run out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
Brown had 105 yards on four catches in the first quarter.
Roethlisberger thew one pass four yards that Brown turned into 34-yard touchdown, and another nine yards that Brown ran the rest of the way for a 47-yard touchdown.
The 14-0 lead is the biggest for the Steelers in the first quarter this season.
The Steelers struck first on their opening offensive drive after holding the Lions on fourth down at their 31. Roethlisberger converted two third downs with passes to Heath Miller and Brown, working from the start under a no-huddle offense.
Brown’s third-down pick up came on a nice pick play in which Cotchery sprung him with a block to an 11-yard gain. On the next play from the 34, Roethlisberger hit Brown again with a short pass on the right at the 30. Brown shook off two Lions defenders and was home free for a 34-yard touchdown.
The second touchdown came after Brown again picked up a first down with a 13-yard catch on third down. On the next play, Roethlisberger stepped up in the pocket away from the rush and tossed it to Brown over the middle. He eluded a few defenders and picked up a block from Emmanuel Sanders to complete the 47-yard scoring play.
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