Former Pistons coach Flip Saunders used to have a saying — the way you start a game is usually the way you are going to finish.

The Lions further proved that point Sunday. The defense gave up two touchdowns on the Steelers’ first two series, and two more in the final two series of the game. The result was a crushing 37-27 loss.

“We came out flat,” said linebacker DeAndre Levy, who had 12 tackles and two pass breakups. “We started to play well, then we sort of put it in cruise control. I think mentally they kind of beat us. We had a lot of mental breakdowns in the back end, myself included.”

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw four touchdown passes. The first two went to Central Michigan product Antonio Brown, on passes of 34 and 47 yards on the Steelers’ first two drives.

“Just poor play,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “We weren’t in very good position. We weren’t aggressive enough on those plays. We’re sitting around watching as they made them.”

On the game-winning 97-yard drive in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger was able to convert a clutch third-and-9 play from the 4, hitting Brown for 16 yards. Later, from the Lions’ 46, he scrambled and picked up 10 yards setting up a fourth-and-2.

On fourth down, the Steelers got running back Le’Veon Bell isolated on linebacker Rocky McIntosh and completed a pass for three yards to extend the drive. A 19-yard catch-and-run by Jerricho Cotchery that set up the 1-yard touchdown pass to Will Johnson was aided by a missed tackle by Don Carey.

“We had a lot of mental breakdowns, especially on that long drive,” Levy said. “There were several miscommunications. Two of the big plays were just miscommunications in the back end. Those mental errors hurt us.”