Final

Steelers 28

(3-2, 1-2 away)

Lions 20

(1-4, 1-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, October 11, 2009

Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

1 2 3 4 T
PIT 7 14 7 028
DET 6 7 0 720

Top Performers

Passing: D. Culpepper (DET) - 282 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: R. Mendenhall (PIT) - 15 CAR, 77 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: H. Ward (PIT) - 7 REC, 85 YDS, 1 TD

Roethlisberger's season-high 3 TDs help Steelers edge Lions

Associated Press

DETROIT -- The Pittsburgh Steelers avoided losing another game in the fourth quarter.

Their fans helped out -- on the road.

Fast Facts

• The Steelers earned their first road win of the season behind Ben Roethlisberger, who went 23-for-30 for 277 yards with 3 TDs and an interception.

• The Steelers are now 10-0 against the Lions on Sundays since 1963 (they are 0-2 in two Thanksgiving games).

• The Steelers had seven sacks in the game, led by James Harrison who had three and also forced a fumble. Harrison now has six sacks in his last three games.

• This was the fourth consecutive game that the Lions scored first in (or held a lead in for that matter), but they have won just one of the four.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Ben Roethlisberger had a season-high three touchdowns passes through three quarters and Pittsburgh's defense was just good enough in the fourth, holding off the Detroit Lions for a 28-20 win Sunday.

The lowly Lions had the ball at their 29 with 3:07 left and two timeouts and a chance to send the game into overtime against the defending champions.

Thousands of black-and-gold clad fans chanted "DE-FENSE!" and twirled Terrible Towels to help Pittsburgh keep Detroit out of the end zone.

"That worked in our favor," said linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who snapped his sackless season with 1 1/2 on Detroit's last drive. "Those offensive linemen couldn't hear the snap count, so they had to watch the ball just like we do."

How Steelers sacked Lions

The Steelers were dominant on the Lions' final drive of the game to secure the win. With the Lions 34 yards from a potential game-tying touchdown, here's how the Steelers' defense fared on the Lions' final seven offensive plays.

Steelers D, final 7 Lions plays
Category No.
Comp-att 1-3
Sacks 4
Pass yards 22
Yards lost 33

-- ESPN Stats and Information

Steelers linebacker James Harrison had three sacks, matching the total he had entering the game, and forced a fumble, much to the delight of many of the folks who filled Ford Field. The Steelers finished with seven sacks and the game drew 59,333 fans and at least half looked and sounded like they were rooting for the visitors.

"Man, they traveled awesome," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. "It was spectacular to stand on the visiting sideline and see the fan support that we had today in this building."

Pittsburgh has sold out 283 straight home games, leading to throngs of its fans making the 4 1/2-hour drive to Detroit to take advantage of plenty of seats being available at the venue where the franchise won the Super Bowl in 2006.

"It brought back a lot of memories," said Hines Ward, who caught a TD pass. "We had just as many fans as we did that time."

For the first time this season, the Steelers (3-2) won on the road -- after blowing fourth-quarter leads at Cincinnati and Chicago -- and won consecutive games.

"We'll get rolling from here with Cleveland coming to town next week," Woodley said.

Rashard Mendenhall's TD run midway through the first quarter gave Pittsburgh the lead and Roethlisberger's third TD pass provided a 15-point cushion with 6:05 left in the third.

The Lions (1-4) rallied with Daunte Culpepper's 25-yard TD pass to Dennis Northcutt to pull within eight with 4:57 to go. They got to the Pittsburgh 21 before three sacks pushed them back to midfield, forcing Culpepper to heave a pass that was knocked down by cornerback Ike Taylor just outside the goal line.

"We didn't always play smart in that game and we didn't always play well, but I'm proud that we battled the whole way," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. "There were a couple places where it would have been easy for us to give in, and we didn't do that."

Roethlisberger was 23 of 30 for 277 yards with TD passes to Mike Wallace, Ward and Heath Miller. One poorly thrown deep out was intercepted by William James and returned 38 yards for a score in the second quarter.

The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback made up for it on the next drive, connecting with Ward on a 17-yard pass to give the Steelers a 21-13 lead.

"I don't feel like I'm playing well," Roethlisberger said. "I'm disappointed in my performance."

Culpepper played in place of No. 1 overall draft pick Matthew Stafford (right knee), and was 23 for 37 for 282 yards with a TD and an interception.

"I still think we have a good ballclub here, but a good ballclub will look at a situation like this and use it to find a way to start winning these games," Culpepper said. "That's what we have to find a way to do."

Game notes


Lions WR Calvin Johnson (right knee) left in the first quarter and was hobbled as he simply tried to walk after the game. ... Pittsburgh S Troy Polamalu (left knee) and RB Willie Parker (left toe) were inactive. ... Lions LB Larry Foote, who spent his first seven seasons with the Steelers, hugged and chatted with his former teammates in their locker room after the game. "We still love Foote," Ward said. "Regardless, he's still a part of this organization." ... Roethlisberger said he's excited to be scheduled to make an upcoming appearance -- via satellite from his home -- on "The Jay Leno Show."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
PIT
DET
1st Downs1821
Passing 1st downs
1415
Rushing 1st downs
35
1st downs from Penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
3-811-18
4th down efficiency
0-00-1
Total Plays5469
Total Yards344335
Yards per play6.44.9
Total Drives119
Passing262225
Comp - Att
23-3023-37
Yards per pass
8.76.1
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks - Yards Lost
3-157-57
Rushing82110
Rushing Attempts
2125
Yards per rush
3.94.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-30-1
Penalties6-596-66
Turnovers11
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession27:2532:35

Passing Leaders

PITC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Roethli...23/302779.2313-15
DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Culpepper23/372827.6117-57

Rushing Leaders

PITCARYDSAVGTDLG
Mendenhall15775.1127
Moore284.007
DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith20532.7010
Culpepper34414.7032

Receiving Leaders

PITRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Ward78512.11217
Miller55410.81156
DETRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Northcutt57014.01258
Smith34214.00234

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPITDET
detFG09:05Jason Hanson 46 Yd 03
pitTD06:44Rashard Mendenhall 7 Yd Run (Jeff Reed Kick) 73
detFG02:23Jason Hanson 46 Yd 76
SECOND QUARTERPITDET
pitTD10:37Heath Miller 15 Yd Pass From Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed Kick) 146
detTD06:52William James 38 Yd Interception Return (Jason Hanson Kick) 1413
pitTD03:51Hines Ward 17 Yd Pass From Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed Kick) 2113
THIRD QUARTERPITDET
pitTD06:05Mike Wallace 47 Yd Pass From Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed Kick) 2813
FOURTH QUARTERPITDET
detTD04:57Dennis Northcutt 25 Yd Pass From Daunte Culpepper (Jason Hanson Kick) 2820