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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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    Detroit Lions reserves are no match for Pittsburgh Steelers starters in preseason loss

    Pittsburgh — While the Detroit Lions opted to rest many of the team’s starters for Saturday’s preseason game at Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh Steelers did not. Detroit’s backups proved no match as the Steelers built a 20-point lead at the half and held on for a 26-20 victory at Heinz Field. 

    On offense, the Lions were without their starting quarterback, top two running backs, Pro Bowl tight end and center, left tackle and presumptive No. 1 receiver. So maybe it should come as no surprise that backup quarterback Tim Boyle failed to led the unit across midfield with five possessions. 

    Detroit Lions running back Jermar Jefferson (28) runs past Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Terrell Edmunds (34) in the first half.

    Boyle, who didn’t help matters with some errant throws, completed fewer than 50% of his passes for 44 yards, before giving way to David Blough midway through the third quarter. 

    Defensively, the Lions opted to rest nearly all of their front seven starters, with only rookie nose tackle Alim McNeil seeing playing time. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a future Hall of Famer, played three offensive series that netted 14 points, feasting on Detroit’s second-team defenders. 

    After going three-and-out with their opening possession, the Steelers put together back-to-back touchdown series. They opened the game’s scoring with a nine-play, 82-yard drive highlighted by a 43-yard completion to wide receiver Diontae Johnson, who blew past the coverage of cornerback Jeff Okudah. 

    Roethlisberger capped the series by freezing safety Tracy Walker with a pump fake before firing a bullet to rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth. 

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