NFL Game Recap - Pittsburgh at Arizona
Sun Dec 8, 2019 4:25 PM EST

DAL
24
CHI
31
F
IND
35
TB
38
F
MIA
21
NYJ
22
F
SF
48
NO
46
F
DET
7
MIN
20
F
DEN
38
HOU
24
F
WAS
15
GB
20
F
CIN
19
CLE
27
F
BAL
24
BUF
17
F
CAR
20
ATL
40
F
LAC
45
JAX
10
F
TEN
42
OAK
21
F
KC
23
NE
16
F
PIT
23
ARI
17
F
SEA
12
LAR
28
F
NYG
17
PHI
23
F OT

Dec 8, 2019, 4:25 PM EST

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Pittsburgh (8-5)

10

3

7

3

23

Arizona (3-9-1)

0

10

0

7

17

Steelers hang on for 23-17 victory over Cardinals
Sun Dec 8, 2019 9:06 PM

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Pittsburgh's defense was great and the Duck was just fine. After weeks of wondering how this bunch keeps piecing together victories, a clearer picture is beginning to emerge.

Maybe the Steelers are just pretty good.

Diontae Johnson returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown and the defense had three crucial interceptions in the second half as Pittsburgh beat Arizona 23-17 on Sunday for its seventh win in eight games.

"We're going to be unashamed and unafraid," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. "Today was enough. We'll get ready for the next challenge that the National Football League presents us."

Pittsburgh's defense came up big with the interceptions - two by Joe Haden and another by T.J. Watt -- to end promising Arizona drives, including two that had ventured into Steelers territory.

"Everybody expects to make the play," Haden said. "We're just depending on ourselves, everybody's looking at the man in the mirror and feeling like they're the next one who's going to make the play."

Pittsburgh (8-5) won again to stay in the AFC playoff race. Rookie free agent quarterback Devlin "Duck" Hodges made his third career start, completing 16 of 19 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.

Hodges didn't need to make many tough throws but came through with a good one in the third quarter, hitting Johnson in the front corner of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown that gave the Steelers a 20-10 lead.

"Great protection, great route," Hodges said. "It's all about timing, we've been practicing it and it's nice to execute it in a game."

Hodges also finished with 34 yards rushing.

Arizona's Kyler Murray completed 20 of 30 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns, but his three interceptions were very costly.

"That's a great defense, and they obviously made more plays than us today," Murray said.

The Cardinals (3-9-1) lost their sixth consecutive game.

They pulled within 20-17 on Murray's 24-yard touchdown pass to David Johnson with 6:44 left, taking advantage of a short field after Steelers punter Jordan Berry fumbled. The Cardinals had a chance to win on the final drive, but Murray's desperation fourth-down heave was intercepted by Haden.

"He's just a quality, low-maintenance, high-production veteran player," Tomlin said of Haden.

The Steelers never trailed, pulling ahead 10-0 late in the first quarter after Johnson's 85-yard touchdown. He caught Andy Lee's 60-yard punt, used a few blocks and then cut across the field to his right, where he found lots of room to run.

From that point, he was escorted down the sideline by a handful of teammates, running into the end zone untouched.

The Cardinals spent the second quarter slowly recovering from the slow start. They capitalized after Pittsburgh's Benny Snell Jr. fumbled, ending the ensuing drive with a 30-yard field goal to pull within 10-3.

Murray hit Charles Clay for a 5-yard touchdown with 1:51 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 10.

Pittsburgh took a 13-10 halftime lead on Chris Boswell's 37-yard field goal as time expired. Boswell made three field goals.

"We played hard, had a chance to win it at the end," Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "I thought the fight was much better than last week. You've got to give them credit - (Hodges) came in and didn't turn the ball over, executed their offense and gave them a chance to win."

JOHNSON'S GROWTH

Tomlin said he was pleased that Johnson bounced back with a big game one week after a rough performance against the Browns.

Johnson a rookie drafted in the third round out of Toledo, finished with six catches for 60 yards and the huge special teams touchdown.

"He's a rookie," Tomlin said. "Days like today are days that we like. Last week, we don't. We'll see what next week holds."

PAIN FOR THE PUNTER

Pittsburgh's Berry took a big hit in the fourth quarter when he tried to run the ball on a fake punt.

Berry said the initial play call was a fake punt, but it was changed at the line of scrimmage after the Steelers saw the Cardinals' defensive formation. The problem was Berry didn't hear the change.

"That's why I got smacked in the face," he said.

JONES MAKING PLAYS

Cardinals LB Chandler Jones forced his sixth fumble of the season in the second quarter when he smacked Hodges' right arm just as he was trying to throw. Pittsburgh recovered the fumble.

The play was also Jones' 14th sack of the season and his 55th in 61 games since joining the Cardinals in 2016.

INJURIES

Steelers: TE Vance McDonald left with a concussion. Tomlin said RB Jaylen Samuels had a groin injury.

UP NEXT

The Steelers host the Bills next Sunday.

The Cardinals host the Browns next Sunday.

---

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Passing

PIT Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
D. Hodges 19 16 84.2 1 152 22 0 117.5 3
ARI Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
K. Murray 30 20 66.7 2 194 31 3 67.2 5

Rushing

PIT Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
K. Whyte Jr. 5 41 8.2 13 0
B. Snell Jr. 16 41 2.6 9 0
ARI Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
K. Drake 11 37 3.4 10 0
D. Johnson 3 19 6.3 9 0

Receiving

PIT Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
D. Johnson 6 60 10.0 18 1
J. Washington 4 33 8.3 12 0
ARI Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
C. Kirk 8 85 10.6 31 0
D. Johnson 2 34 17.0 24 1

Team Stats Comparison

PIT ARI
Points For 23 17
Total Yards 275 236
Rushing Yards 140 71
Passing Yards 135 165
Passing Completions / Attempts 16/19 20/30
Turnovers 2 3
Interceptions Thrown 0 3
Fumbles - Lost 3/2 1/0
First Downs 20 17
Rushing Touchdowns 0 0
Passing Touchdowns 1 2
Penalties - Yards 4/20 7/75
Time Of Possession 31:54 28:06
Third Down Conversions/Attempts 4/11 4/11
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts 0/1 1/3
Red Zone Conversions/Attempts 1/4 1/3
Sacks Against 3 5
Punts - Average Yards 2/48 3/55
Punt Returns - Average Yards/Punt Return 2/43 1/29
Kickoff Returns - Average Yards/Kickoff Return 2/12 3/23

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter PIT ARI
PIT 10:40 FG Chris Boswell 30 yd FG 3 0
PIT 12:08 TD Diontae Johnson 85 yd punt return (Chris Boswell kick) 10 0
2nd Quarter PIT ARI
ARI 3:45 FG Zane Gonzalez 30 yd FG 10 3
ARI 13:09 TD Charles Clay 5 yd pass from Kyler Murray (Zane Gonzalez kick) 10 10
PIT 15:00 FG Chris Boswell 37 yd FG 13 10
3rd Quarter PIT ARI
PIT 13:00 TD Diontae Johnson 2 yd pass from Devlin Hodges (Chris Boswell kick) 20 10
4th Quarter PIT ARI
ARI 8:16 TD David Johnson 24 yd pass from Kyler Murray (Zane Gonzalez kick) 20 17
PIT 13:18 FG Chris Boswell 25 yd FG 23 17

Game Information

Stadium: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Attendance: 63,880
Game Time: 2:46
Weather: