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Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers 26-20 victory over the Lions in Week 2 of the preseason

The Steelers dominated and held on to win their third preseason game.

Detroit Lions v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Knee-jerk Reactions are immediate responses to a situation without taking the time to analyze the situation. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do. Especially if you are a full blood Yinzer, or even just a part Yinzer. As is the custom, I compile my knee-jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game (my son Kyle might have a few things to say as well). It’s my version of running my mouth first and apologizing later. So with that being said, I’m going to employ that philosophy here during Week 2 of the NFL Preseason. Yes this is only a preseason game, but it's still football.


1st Quarter

  • Steelers win the toss and want to get Ben Roethlisberger on the field to start.
  • Really? False start on the opening snap? Not good for Chuks.
  • It’s nice seeing a running back moving people down the field when the lineman are pushing them as well.
  • That’s Ben being Ben. Buying a bunch of time. But Ebron doinks it off his hands and kills the drive.
  • Big Press with a long punt and short return!
  • Joe Haden almost comes down with the INT! But almost doesn’t count. At least he gets a pass defensed.
  • Steelers force the punt. Now let’s get some first downs!
  • Steelers leave the far outside linebacker unblocked and he comes down and blows up the play to throw Harris for a loss of one. Not a good start to the drive.
  • On third and short, Roethlisberger throws it deep to Diontae Johnson! But I thought Ben was incapable of throwing the ball farther than 5 yards?
  • Another first down and the Steelers get their first red zone chance of the game. Let’s get those ketchup bottles going!
  • That was a nice block by Kendrick Green helping to spring Harris for 6 yards. Keep it going O-line.
  • And as soon as I said it, they run for a 3-yard loss. Got to have consistency in the running game.
  • Roethlisberger pump faked the cameraman out and connected for the touchdown pass to the second-round draft pick. MMMMUUUUUTTTTHHHH!!!
  • That’s 12 snaps for Roethlisberger. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets another series or not.
  • If Arthur Maulet is going to play like that on special teams, then he’s making this roster.
  • Defense gets their first three and out of the game. I can get used to those.
  • Ben is back on the field for a third series. I wouldn’t have guessed the first sub on offense was Dan Moore Jr. for Zach Banner, but I knew that was coming pretty early.
  • Thanks NFL Network. You finally come back from commercial when the Steelers are back in the red zone!
  • Apparently it wasn’t NFL Network. Apparently it was my local cable station that decided to run local commercials. Great catch and run by Harris that I didn’t get to see.
  • MMMMUUUUTTTTHHH!!!! for TD number two!
  • Even if that receiver would have pulled that ball in, Minka Fitzpatrick was gonna knock it out.
  • Lions penalties keep backing them up. It was smart to decline that one and get the ball back. But who will be the QB?
  • Ben is done after 16 snaps. Let’s see what Mason Rudolph can do.
  • Steelers on the move. Ben Roethlisberger finishes 8 for 10 for 137 yards, 2 TDs, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Steelers 14 Lions 0

2nd Quarter

  • Rudolph looked comfortable in the pocket on that third down play. And it’s nice to see Ebron pull it in.
  • Great coverage on JuJu Smith-Schuster in the end zone. But that was a nice ball from Rudolph.
  • 17 points in four drives is something I’m not going to complain about.
  • Melvin Ingram making plays like T.J. Watt!
  • Steelers declined the penalty because half the distance wasn’t going to give them much. So they force a third and 10 and unfortunately Joe Schobert gets dragged for first-down yardage.
  • Now Arthur Maulet is out with an injury. Steelers can’t figure out the slot corner when guys keep getting hurt.
  • Holy cow! A 70 yard punt? No wonder the Lions punter is a Pro Bowler.
  • Ebron with the false start. Half the distance makes it a 1-yard penalty.
  • After two runs for 2 yards and an incompletion, the Steelers get bailed out with a facemask penalty. But it definitely was.
  • Rudolph floats one to Ebron. He was so open it connects for a big gain.
  • Rudolph has no time to throw but fights forward to keep it from being a sack. Kendrick Green helped push a little bit.
  • Chuks gets beat inside on the run play and lets his guy disrupt things. It’s making me nervous.
  • Good call to go on it on fourth down. And great job for JuJu getting a bunch of yards.
  • Kendrick Green whiffed on that block and Rudolph was forced to try to dump it off to Freiermuth for what would have been a third TD. Instead they settle for another field goal to finish the first half. Steelers 20 Lions 0

3rd Quarter

  • As the second half gets going, I’m very concerned that this game is only going to be televised until the next ones ready to start. Not good.
  • Justin Layne and James Pierre both there on the coverage on that play.
  • What a punt return by Sexton! He’s making a push to knock off Ray-Ray McCloud. But he also got some nice blocks too.
  • Rudolph gets the first series of the second half. Still has part of the starting offensive line.
  • It’s interesting that Roethlisberger seems to have the better connection with Freiermuth tonight while Rudolph has a better connection with Ebron.
  • Steelers have another drive in the red zone. Can Rudolph finish it off with a touchdown?
  • That should have been an interception in the end zone. Not sure what Rudolph was looking at there. Might be his worst pass/decision of the preseason.
  • So it’s another FG drive for Rudolph. That might be it for him tonight.
  • Pretty much all reserves in on defense now.
  • Steelers bring a ton of pressure and get the sack. Not sure who it’s going to go to officially.
  • It’s the quarterback scrambling that is moving the ball for the Lions right now. Steelers need to finish plays.
  • Nice third down stop for Shakur Bown. Unfortunately the Lions convert fourth and one.
  • Not sure if that was a late hit or just putting his helmet in the quarterback’s chest by Loudermilk. I’m assuming it’s the latter.
  • Steelers only get one offensive possession in the third quarter, but they did turn it into points. Steelers 23 Lions 0 heading into the final 15 minutes.

4th Quarter

  • Lions find the end zone on the first play of the quarter even though there were 37 holds on the play. Two-point conversion no good.
  • Those are the first points surrendered by the Steelers in the second half this preseason.
  • Haskins showing the ability to run the ball when things break down.
  • Nice to see a short third down play completed for enough yards by Haskins. That's another Pittsburgh Steelers first down.
  • Ray-Ray McCloud showing the speed down the sideline.
  • Haskins takes a sack on third and 10, bringing in Boswell for the field goal attempt. Three more points for the good guys.
  • And there goes the NFL Network feed.
  • On second down and 30 the defense commits a 5-yard holding penalty that results in a first down. That's tough to swallow.
  • The defense is having a lot of missed tackles right now. These guys are clawing for remaining spots on the roster, missing tackles won't help them.
  • The defense wasn't able to hold them for a second straight drive. Touchdown Lions.
  • The return team did not do a real good job playing that onside kick. Nobody was coming forward to get the ball when they could have. Lions recover.
  • On 4th and 2, the Steelers give up a 31-yard play. All these guys scrambling for spots are not showing a lot to help their cause. Two minute warning.
  • First play after the 2-minute warning goes for a touchdown. A game the Steelers look like they had totally in hand now looks like Detroit is back in it thanks to the second and third string guys.
  • Trey Edmonds was lined up at fullback and caught the ball out of the backfield for a first down. Nice play call right there.
  • That's the ball game. The first team was dominant, the reserves left a little to be desired. In the end it's a Steeler victory. Steelers 26, Lions 20.

There you have it, my knee jerks. Sure it was preseason, but it was Steelers football so I will sit on this for a day or two and then look forward to next week’s final pre-season game. CAN’T WAIT!!!