The second quarter begins with the Lions’ offense in the redzone. Stafford misses a fade in the end zone to Calvin; his second such miss of the game. The fade has got to be a bread and butter play for the Lions if they hope to score touchdowns with regularity on red zone visits. No harm, no foul though. Stafford and C. Johnson hook up for a TD on the very next play to finish a very impressive Lions drive. The offensive line deserves a hat tip at this point; Best has been given some room to run, and Stafford hasn’t had defenders in his grill. 7-3 Lions.
Pittsburgh takes over for their first second quarter possession, and the Lions send some subs on. Jordan Dizon has to be helped off the field after the first play. The Lions aren’t deep enough at linebacker to afford an injury, so I hope it’s not serious. The defense forces a fumble on a third down run; it’s recovered by rookie safety Randy Phillips (he’s been around the ball a lot so far), but after watching the replay it looks like the call will be reversed. It is. Pittsburgh’s mounting a nice drive here; the Lions defense is a much much weaker group without the starting D-line in there. A deep pass by Leftwich goes incomplete, but the ref missed major pass interference by Chris Houston. Pittsburgh works the ball inside the Lions’ twenty yard line, but the defense holds and forces a field goal. 7-6 Lions.
Shaun Hill enters the game at quarterback. Stafford’s day is done with a nice line: 8 of 11 for 61 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Hill leads the offense to a first down, but the drive stalls soon after and Nick Harris punts it away. My quick first impression of Hill is positive, though. He looks like a competent backup.
Dennis Dixon takes over at QB for the Steelers as the rains come pouring down. The last time I saw Dixon play he was torching Wolverine defensive backs at the Big House. Painful memory… And my TV screen goes black. Looks like FOX17 (Grand Rapids) is having troubles with the video feed again. I turned the game on to find an episode of M.A.S.H. with a scrolling notice of technical difficulties (it came on in time for the Lions’ first drive)… and it’s M.A.S.H. again. Bummer.
The network rejoins the game with the Steelers kicking off following Isaac Redman’s touchdown run. 13-7 Steelers. The rain is pounding in Pittsburgh, and some lightning in the area is going to cause them to suspend the game. 1:31 remaining in the half.
[UPDATE] Play resumes with 1:31 remaining in the half and the Lions in possession of the football. They run the ball for three plays, going nowhere, and the half ends. Both teams looked eager to begin the second half after the long weather delay.