WHATEVER IT TAKES:** The Steelers' defense surrendered just 10 points in a first half that saw the Cardinals outgain the Steelers, 279-59.
And by game's end an Arizona offense that came in leading the NFL in points scored (190), touchdowns (24), point differential (plus 100) and red zone TDs (17) had just 13 points to show for 469 yards of offense generated and 31:09 of possession.
"No one wants to give us any respect; we're going to take it by force," safety Mike Mitchell declared after collecting his first interception with the Steelers.
Mitchell's pick was one of three Steelers' takeaways.
The Cardinals went 1-for-4 in the red zone.
Tomlin said the defense "held the rope until we could get some things going."
Defensive end Cam Heyward said the defense is willing to do so "as long as it needs to be held.
"If we don't score on offense we think we can score on defense," Heyward said. "We just have to have that mindset, whatever it takes."
NEXT MAN UP: Tomlin confirmed an ACL injury has ended left tackle Kelvin Beachum's season.
Alejandro Villanueva took over on the Steelers' first possession of the second quarter and finished the game, but not in a manner that satisfied his expectations.
"I gotta get lower, I gotta get faster, I gotta get sharper," Villanueva said "I can play a lot better. My coaches expect me to play a lot better. That's what I hope to do."
Villanueva has been dressing as the "swing" tackle, a reserve deemed capable of playing on either the left or right side.
He interpreted his insertion into the game at left tackle as a positive sign. The Steelers opted not to move right tackle Marcus Gilbert, a much more experienced player, to the left side and play Villanueva at right tackle.
"That gives me the idea that they trust me, to put the ball in my hand," Villanueva said. "It's up to me to go out there and perform. I gotta get with 'Munch' (offensive line coach Mike Munchak) and get in the study room and continue to perfect my skills so I can play up to the level they expect me to play."
SEEKING COMFORT:** Wide receiver Antonio Brown was targeted eight times and caught three passes for 24 yards against the Cardinals.
That makes 11 catches for 111 yards in the last three games for Brown _ 26 fewer yards than fellow wide receiver Martavis Bryant had on his six catches against Arizona (6-137-2 TDs).
"He realizes he's seen everything he's going to see in professional football from an individual-accolades standpoint," Tomlin said of Brown. "He's got to get a ring. That's what he and I have been talking about through some of this. It's uncomfortable for him, no doubt. He's got a great rapport with Ben Roethlisberger, Ben's not playing. What do we have to do to win the game?
"When you're hunting what (Brown) is hunting, his career will be defined by how many Lombardis he's contributed to our stash."