The Pittsburgh Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 23-17 victory in Arizona on Sunday. Although closely contested, quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges managed the Steelers to their eighth win of the season. The Steelers’ win keeps them in the playoff race with the sixth seed contained over the Tennessee Titans.
The Steelers’ defense, however, dominated over rookie quarterback Kyler Murray.
The Cardinals’ first two possessions ended with eight plays for 10 yards. A mediocre offense led to a magnificent Steelers special teams. Diontae Johnson took a punt 85 yards to give the Steelers a 10-0 lead.
Another three-and-out for the Cardinals gave the Steelers a chance to end the game early. Yet, a fumble on the first play by Benny Snell, Jr. gave the Cardinals hope.
The Cardinals drove roughly 30 yards before failing to finish in the end zone. Despite not finishing, the Cardinals added three with a Zane Gonzalez 30-yard field goal.
Going into halftime, a five-yard touchdown pass to Charles Clay and a 37-yard field goal from Chris Boswell brought the score to 13-10 in favor of the Steelers.
The second half did not compare to the first half’s action. Yet, the duck calls quacked around the stadium as Joe Haden jumped Kyler Murray’s pass. The first of three interceptions led to another touchdown from Diontae Johnson.
The Cardinals bounced cross-field to the Steelers’ six-yard line. With an open field in front of him, Murray thought about running for six. However, he decided to throw into T.J. Watt‘s arms for his second interception of the game.
Sitting up 20-10, the Steelers took a risky approach on fourth down. A fake punt run from punter Jordan Berry led to a fumble. The Cardinals capitalized with a touchdown and pushed the score to 20-17.
After one more field goal, the Cardinals had under two minutes to score a touchdown. Back-to-back sacks gave the Cardinals a fourth-and-forever. With one last heave, it was over as Haden captured his second interception of the night.
A Hodges kneel lept the Steelers to 9-5 and the Cardinals to 3-8-1.