PITTSBURGH (AP) — A pair of draft picks helped the Detroit Lions defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17 Friday.
Chris Boswell briefly put Pittsburgh in front with a 37-yard field goal, but Dwayne Washington, the Lions’ seventh-round pick, gave Detroit the lead for good with a 96-yard kickoff return.
Quarterback Jake Rudock, the Lions’ sixth-round pick, later led an 11-play, 74-yard scoring drive. Rudock, who finished 8 of 11 for 72 yards and a score, hit Jace Billingsley with a 27-yard touchdown on third-and-9.
The Steelers sat Ben Roethlisberger, running backs Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams, wide receivers Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton, and center Maurkice Pouncey. First-round pick cornerback Artie Burns missed the game with a nagging thigh injury, while linebackers Bud Dupree and Jarvis Jones — former first-round picks — also sat out.
Detroit’s Matthew Stafford went 4 of 6 for 58 yards in his only series. Stafford converted three third downs — one a 30-yard pickup to the newly acquired Anquan Boldin — before James Harrison’s sack and forced fumble halted the drive.
Lions tight end Eric Ebron, who suffered an undisclosed injury to his lower right leg last week, was in street clothes. Cornerback Darius Slay missed Wednesday’s practice and sat out Friday’s game. Starting running back Ameer Abdullah and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata were also out.
Doran Grant opened the scoring when he picked off Dan Orlovsky’s throw and returned the interception 39 yards. Steelers receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey made it 14-3 in the second quarter when he hauled in a 29-yarder in the corner of the end zone from Landry Jones.
Jones finished 6 of 12 for 55 yards and a score.
Andre Roberts scored on a 28-yard pass from Orlovsky before the two-minute warning. Orlovsky finished 16 of 25 for 164 yards with a touchdown and an interception.