Harrington played every snap of the first half, going 13-of-25 for 136 yards with one touchdown before giving up his quarterback duties to Mike McMahon. McMahon went 7 for 17 for 64 yards, and piled up 26 more yards on the ground, leaving it quite clear that Harrington is the Lions' number one quarterback.
(PHOTO RIGHT) Harrington heads off the field after leading the Lions to a 26-13 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night. (Photo by Jeff Oliver.)
After the game and throughout the rest of the weekend, sports talk radio in Detroit was all about the Lions and their 26-13 victory over the Pittsburg Steelers. Some fans in the area were already talking play-offs, while the more reasonable fans were talking about Harrington, and also new coach Steve Mariucci.
Fans were pleased with Harrington's performance, but some of the talk radio hosts were eager to discuss his faults. A host on one station felt McMahon played a better game and that Harrington didn't show that he was the team's top quarterback. On another station, Harrington's scrambling abilities were criticized.
(PHOTO left) Former Oregon star and current Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington watches the the Lions defeat Pittsburgh 26-13 in the first preseason NFL game for both teams. (Photo by Jeff Oliver)
After just after one pre-season game, the Lions and their fans are looking up and why shouldn't they? After all it was Joey Harrington that took an Oregon Duck team from a Sun Bowl win to a Fiesta Bowl win and a national number two ranking in just three short years.
For the Lions, their fans and Detroit, the city hosts the Super Bowl in, yes, just three years.
NOTES: Harrington wasn't the only former high school player from Oregon in the game. Luke Staley from Tualatin High School led the Lion's rushing corps with 30 yards on seven carries. On the other side of the ball Troy Polamalu, the former USC linebacker from Southern Oregon's Winston High School, had four tackles for the Steelers…The number of fans wearing Harrington jerseys could have very well been in the tens of thousands, although many Lion's fans are still showing their support for Barry Sanders…The Lion's top draft pick Charles Rogers from nearby Michigan State did not play in the game due to a injured finger.