Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was the star in the 32-20 week seven victory over the Arizona Cardinals with 361 yards and three touchdowns on 26 of 39 passing. The Steelers defense came out quick and fierce, pressuring quarterback Kevin Kolb with two sacks and an interception and stuffing the Cardinals' running game to the tune of 73 yards.
The Steelers had been playing better of late and the Cardinals had only one win entering the week seven contest, so it might have been possible to look past today's matchup and onto the Patriots next week, if not for all of the familiar faces on the other sideline that is. Making the matchup with the Cardinals more interesting was the list of former Steelers now playing and coaching in Arizona:
- Five ex-Steelers coaches including Ken Whisenhunt (Cardinal's head coach), Russ Grimm (assistant head coach) and Ray Horton (defensive coordinator) are on the staff.
- Ex-Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend is a position coach.
- Joey Porter, Clark Haggans and Nick Eason were once all apart of the Dick Lebeau's 3-4 defense.
Roethlisberger stepped up to post his third straight big game in a Steelers victory with a 121.8 quarterback rating, his highest of the season. The quarterback has caught fire over the course of the three game winning streak, recording quarterback ratings of 116.2, 96.3 and 121.8 while throwing for nine touchdowns and only one interception with 789 total yards. It is a good thing too, because the running game was no where to be found today, totaling just 91 yards on 28 carries. After a very good performance last week, Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall gained just 32 yards on 13 carries.
In what has become routine for him, wide receiver Mike Wallace blew by his defender in the second quarter for a 95 yard touchdown pass that put the Steelers up 14-0. The reception was just one of his three for 118 yards and was said to be the longest pass play in Steelers history. The previous record was 90 yards by Terry Bradshaw in 1981, Bubby Brister in 1990 and Kordell Stewart in 2001. Also catching touchdown passes were tight end Heath Miller and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Kicker Shaun Suisham improved upon what had been a shaky start to the season going three for three on field goal attempts. Through the first six weeks of the season he had connected on seven opportunities, but also lead the league with four misses.
The Steelers defense played well as a unit, lead by LaMarr Woodley who seemed to be in the opponent's backfield all game while recording two more sacks along with seven total tackles. Also standing out were safety Ryan Clark who recorded four tackles and an interception of Kolb on the first drive of the game, and cornerback Ike Taylor who held All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to 78 yards on 4 receptions.
The Steelers return home to Heinz Field in week eight to host the AFC East leading New England Patriots.
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