(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
The Steelers defeated the Lions 26-20 in last night's exhibition game, but the game wasn't as close as the final score indicated. The Steelers dominated in every facet of the game and led 23-0 after three quarters of play.
-- While it was just a preseason game, man, the Lions looked brutal. It was sloppy play all around -- numerous penalties, poor tackling and a lack of execution. New head coach Dan Campbell has his hands full with this team. This leads to the question, are the Steelers this good or the Lions this bad?
It's probably a little bit of both, but it should be noted that the Lions didn't play quarterback Jared Goff, running backs D'Andre Swift and Jonathan Williams and tight end T.J. Hockenson. I don't think it would have made much of a difference, but they probably would have got more going offensively with Goff under center instead of Tim Boyle.
-- Ben Roethlisberger put on a show in his first game playing in front of a packed stadium at Heinz Field in nearly two years. It was vintage Roethlisberger performance, as he completed 8 of 10 passes for 137 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and had a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3. His two touchdowns went to rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth and both scores came in the red zone. Roethlisberger also completed a 43-yard pass to Diontae Johnson, and his arm strength looked just fine. I think a lot of Roethlisberger's naysayers like Mike Tannenbaum, Adam Schein and Jason La Canfora could be eating their words come December. Roethlisberger looked great and is more than ready for the Steelers' Week 1 game against the Bills on the road.
-- Pat Freiermuth is for real. If not already, the second-round pick out of Penn State should be TE1 this year. His performance last night was very Heath Miller-like. The Steelers got a good one here.
-- The Steelers also got a specimen in rookie running back Najee Harris, and he showcased that on his 46-yard catch-and-run last night. Turning a short reception into an explosive play after stiff-arming Lions linebacker Jahlani Tavai and scampering down the sidelines and breaking the ankles of cornerback Jeff Okudah. Just watch it below. Harris is going to be fun to watch this year.
-- The Steelers are going to have quite a trio at outside linebacker this year with T.J. Watt, Highsmith and Melvin Ingram. Highsmith and Ingram dominated in last night's game, both in run defense and when rushing the quarterback. The signing of Ingram by Kevin Colbert looks better every day. I don't think they're going to miss a beat with Bud Dupree gone. Watch Ingram take seventh overall pick Penei Sewell to school here.
-- Fourth-round pick Dan Moore's progression has been remarkable and he put together a third straight solid game in the preseason last night. According to Pro Football Focus, Moore has the most pass-blocking snaps (62) while allowing zero pressures this preseason. Chuks Okorafor had a false start penalty on the first play against the Lions, and PFF credited him with allowing five pressures on only 29 pass-blocking snaps. Geoff Schwartz mentioned earlier this month that he was hearing that Moore is going to start at left tackle in Week 1 for the Steelers. It didn't sound plausible at the time, but Moore has certainly turned heads in training camp and the preseason. I'm not sure if he'll start over Okorafor, but Moore is gaining confidence from the Steelers coaching staff with how he's playing.