What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. Cardinals

COIN TOSS: Steelers call heads. It's heads. Steelers defer. Cardinals get the football first.

4: 29 p.m. – What Went Right: After netting one first down on a run and then a swing pass to Kenyan Drake, the Steelers defense stiffened and forced a punt. Mark Barron sacked Kyler Murray for a loss of 6 yards on first down, and then Bud Dupree played contain perfectly on a designed quarterback run to his side, and Murray lost 2 more yards. On third down, a pass for Larry Fitzgerald was incomplete, and the Steelers took began their initial possession at their 25-yard line following the punt.

4:42 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers hadn't scored a touchdown on their opening possession since the game against New England on Dec. 16, 2018, and while they didn't break that streak against the Cardinals, they did take a 3-0 lead on a 30-yard field goal by Chris Boswell that capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive that consumed eight minutes of the first quarter. The Steelers converted a third-and-13 with a pass to Trey Edmunds that was followed by a personal foul penalty on Jordan Hicks. Benny Snell converted a third-and-1 with a 3-yard run, but a third-and-3 pass to Jaylen Samuels gained only 1 yard. The Steelers led, 3-0, with 4:20 left in the first quarter.

4:50 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense forced another three-and-out in spite of an offside penalty on Bud Dupree on third-and-10, and then Diontae Johnson did something that a Steelers player hadn't done for a while. That was return a punt for a touchdown. Johnson's return covered 85 yards, and two of the savvy plays on the return were turned in by Robert Spillane and Benny Snell, both of whom screened Cardinals players without blocking then in the back. The Steelers led, 10-0, with 2:54 left in the first quarter.

4:56 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Cardinals possession following the kickoff ended in a three-and-out, with Bud Dupree's sack on third down forcing the punt. The Steelers took over on their 34-yard line with 44 seconds left in the first quarter. But on the first play, Benny Snell fumbled and Terrell Suggs recovered on the Steelers 34-yard line.

5:07 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense rose up and forced the Cardinals to settle for a red zone field goal following Benny Snell's lost fumble. The Cardinals had a first-and-goal at the 3-yard line, and a jet sweep pass to Christian Kirk was stopped for gain; Minkah Fitzpatrick burst into the backfield to dump Kyler Murray for a 1-yard loss on a read option; and then Vince Williams sacked Murray for an 8-yard loss to force the Zane Gonzalez field goal that made it 10-3 with 11:15 left in the first half.

5:28 p.m. – What Went Wrong: This time the defense had no answers. The Cardinals tied the game, 10-10, on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Charles Clay that capped a 12-play, 85-yard drive that consumed 5:12 of the second quarter. Kyler Murray converted a third-and-2 with a 10-yard pass to Damiere Byrd, and then the touchdown pass to Clay came on a third-and-4 from the 5-yard line. On the drive, Murray completed 7-of-8 for 57 yards and the touchdown.

5:39 p.m. – What Went Right: Devlin Hodges did a fine job of directing the Steelers offense into position to take the halftime lead, 13-10, on a 37-yard field goal by Chris Boswell as time expired. On the first three plays of the possession that began at the 25-yard line, Hodges completed a pass to James Washington for 12 yards, scrambled through a big hole up the middle for 22 yards and got out of bounds, and then completed an 18-yard pass to Diontae Johnson. The Cardinals put the Steelers behind the chains when Chandler Jones strip-sacked Hodges, but Matt Feiler fell on the ball for a 13-yard loss. A 10-yard run by Kerrith Whyte and a 7-yard completion to Johnson got the Steelers back into field goal range.

5:58 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers received the second half kickoff and had to start at their 12-yard line when Kerrith Whyte was dumped after a 10-yard return. Then after a three-and-out when Devlin Hodges was marked 1 yard short on a third down scramble, Pharoh Cooper returned Jordan Berry's 69-yard punt for 29 yards and the Cardinals started at their 39-yard line.

6:08 p.m. – What Went Right: The Cardinals converted a fourth-and-6 when Chase Edmunds ran for 9 yards on a fake punt, but after driving to a second-and-5 from the Pittsburgh 26-yard line, Joe Haden read the play perfectly, came off his man and cut in front of Edmunds to intercept Kyler Murray at the Steelers 27-yard line. There was 8:06 left in the third quarter, and the Steelers led, 13-10.

6:22 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers marched 73 yards in 11 plays to extend their lead to 20-10 on a big-time throw from Devlin Hodges to Diontae Johnson for a 2-yard touchdown. The Steelers ran the ball on seven of the 11 plays. The Cardinals got the ball back following the kickoff with two minutes left in the third quarter.

6:36 p.m. – What Went Right: It was a fourth-and-2 from the Steelers 6-yard line, and Cardinals Coach Kliff Kingsbury decided to go for a touchdown instead of settling for a short field goal. Kyler Murray escaped the pocket and seemed to have enough room to run for the first down, but instead he tried to get the ball to tight end Maxx Williams in the end zone. T.J. Watt slid over into the throwing lane and intercepted the pass in the end zone for a touchback. The Steelers led, 20-10, with 12:26 remaining in the fourth quarter.

6:44 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers made one first down after T.J. Watt's interception, and then on fourth-and-8, Jordan Berry came on to punt. For some reason, Berry decided to run, and he was tackled at the 32-yard line, which is where the Cardinals took over. Three plays later, on a third-and-2, Kyler Murray hit David Johnson for a 24-yard touchdown. The Steelers lead was 20-17 with 6:44 remaining.

7:05 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers extended their lead to 23-17 on a 25-yard field goal by Chris Boswell with 1:42 remaining. The Steelers drove 77 yards in 11 plays and ate up 5:02 of game time on the drive, and the Cardinals also had to use their remaining timeouts.

7:10 p.m. -- What Went Right: Sacks by Cam Heyward and Justin Hargrave eventually set up a fourth-and-17 from the Arizona 18-yard line. Joe Haden intecepted the pass to ice the outcome.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 23, Cardinals 17