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Steelers defeat Cardinals, 23-17

GLENDALE, Ariz. _The Steelers continue to stay in the playoff hunt thanks to a 23-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The win improves the Steelers record to 8-5 on the season and keeps them in the wild card race.

The defense forced three Kyler Murray interceptions, something that isn't common as the rookie quarterback had only six going into the game. Devlin Hodges managed the game cleanly completing 16 of 19 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown and no turnovers.

With 1:42 to play and no timeouts, the defense came up with their best stance of the day. Cam Heyward sacked Kyler Murray for a five-yard loss, and Bud Dupree came back with a sack for a loss of seven. On third-and-22 Steve Nelson had Larry Fitzgerald covered for the incompletion and on fourth down Joe Haden picked off Murray, his second interception of the day, to secure the win.

The Steelers went on an 11-play, 77-yard drive late in the game, and despite getting down to the seven-yard line had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Chris Boswell. The field goal extending the Steelers lead to 23-17 with 1:42 to play.

T.J. Watt came up with a huge play, intercepting Kyler Murray in the end zone to kill a drive. But the offense sputtered on the next drive, and on fourth-and-eight Jordan Berry decided to run instead of punt and was tackled for a loss at the 32-yard line The Cardinals took over and made it hurt. Murray hit David Johnson for a 24-yard touchdown to cut the Steelers lead to 20-17 with 6:44 to play in the game.

Cornerback Joe Haden's interception in the third quarter helped the Steelers re-establish a 10-point lead.

Haden jumped a pass from quarterback Kyler Murray intended for running back Chase Edmonds on second-and-5 from the Steelers' 26-yard line and the Steelers took over at the 27. The offense responded with an 11-play, 73-yard drive in 6:06 for a touchdown. Quarterback Devlin Hodges hit wide receiver Diontae Johnson for the score on second-and-goal from the Arizona 2. Kicker Chris Boswell's extra point gave the Steelers a 20-10 lead with 2:00 left in the third.

Linebacker T.J. Watt helped preserve the 10-point margin when he intercepted Murray in the end zone on fourth-and-2 from the Steelers' 6 with 12:26 left in the fourth quarter.

The Steelers took a 13-10 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

Boswell's second field goal, this one from 37 yards out, regained the lead for the Steelers on the final play of the second quarter. The drive covered 56 yards on six plays in 1:51. The big plays were a 22-yard scramble by Hodges to the Arizona 41 and an 18-yard completion from Hodges to Johnson to the Cardinals' 23.

Offensive tackle Matt Feiler helped avert disaster on the march when he recovered a Hodges fumble forced by linebacker Chandler Jones.

Johnson had given the Steelers a two-score lead when he returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown with 2:52 left in the first quarter. Boswell's extra point made it 10-0, Steelers.

The visitors had opened the scoring on a 30-yard field goal by Boswell that capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive in 8:00. The possession had been extended when Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks was called for a personal foul for unnecessary toughness after a pass from Hodges to running back Trey Edmunds had gained 7 on third-and-13 from the Steelers' 47.

Arizona got on the board on a 30-yard field goal from kicker Zane Gonzalez with 11:15 left in the second.

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 14 game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium

The Cardinals had taken over at the Steelers' 34 following a fumble by running back Benny Snell Jr. and a recovery by linebacker Terrell Suggs. Arizona achieved a first-and-goal from the Steelers' 3 on the nine-play, 22-yard drive in 4:23 but ultimately settled for three points and a 10-3 deficit.

The Cardinals tied the game on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Murray to tight end Charles Clay, followed by Gonzalez' extra point, with 1:51 left in the second. The drive covered 85 yards on 12 plays in 5:12.

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