Final

Steelers 14

(3-1, 1-1 away)

Cardinals 21

(2-2, 2-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, September 30, 2007

U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ 

1 2 3 4 T
PIT 7 0 0 714
ARI 0 0 7 1421

Top Performers

Passing: B. Roethlisberger (PIT) - 244 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: E. James (ARI) - 21 CAR, 77 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: S. Holmes (PIT) - 6 REC, 128 YDS, 2 TD

Cardinals shut down Steelers' high-scoring offense

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Ken Whisenhunt will admit it now. This game meant a little more than usual to Arizona's first-year coach.

So imagine his joy as the Cardinals "out-Steelered" Pittsburgh in a rugged 21-14 stunner of his old team Sunday.

Scouts Buzz
This was an impressive performance from the Arizona defense. In a physical game, especially in the trenches, the Cardinals stuffed Steelers RB Willie Parker at the line and gave him little space to run in. Considering Parker had more than 100 yards in each of his first three games, limiting him to just 37 yards speaks volumes about how well this defense played.

It wasn't just the run defense, either. The secondary played well, too, allowing just a long TD in the first quarter and a late TD. It forced two picks and held Ben Roethlisberger to just barely better than 50 percent completion percentage.
-- Ken Moll, Scouts Inc.
Complete Week 4 Scouts Buzz

Rookie Steve Breaston returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown and Arizona's defense shut down Pittsburgh's high-scoring offense most of the day to hand the Steelers their first loss.

"It's obviously a special win for me to beat the Steelers," Whisenhunt said, "but I don't have any animosity toward that football team. ... The thing that I'm the proudest about is that our football team beat a good football team that nobody gave us a chance to do."

Breaston's burst up the middle for the go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter was the Cardinals' first punt return for a touchdown in 14 years. It came after the initial Pittsburgh punt was called back by one of the Steelers' 11 penalties.

"I kind of felt it coming," the speedster from Michigan said. "I've started feeling comfortable back there."

The Cardinals (2-2) ended Willie Parker's string of four consecutive 100-yard rushing games, limiting him to 37 yards in 18 carries.

"That had all the makings of a typical loss," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, "by that I mean we weren't able to run the ball successfully, the turnovers that we acquired, we gave up a big play and we had way too many penalties. When you do that, you lose."

Arizona sacked Ben Roethlisberger four times, three by Darnell Dockett, and intercepted him twice, once by Adrian Wilson when Pittsburgh was third-and-goal at the 2.

"I think all week, even people in my family, they wouldn't give us a chance," Dockett said. "And I took it to heart and kind of personally."

The Steelers rallied behind Roethlisberger, whose second TD pass to Santonio Holmes, a 7-yarder, cut it to 21-14 with 1:49 to play.

However, Larry Fitzgerald recovered the onside kick attempt for Arizona. The Steelers got the ball one last time at their 9 with 46 seconds to play. They made it to the 40, but Dockett sacked Roethlisberger, then Ralph Brown intercepted to seal the victory.

The first interception was the one that really hurt, though.

"This loss is on me," Roethlisberger said. "I can't throw a pick in the end zone. The defense gives you an opportunity, and you throw it away. It's disappointing. It's frustrating. You feel like you let guys down."

The Steelers (3-1) had scored 97 points in their first three games.

Whisenhunt and top assistant Russ Grimm both were leading contenders to replace Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh after last season. Whisenhunt was the Steelers' offensive coordinator and Grimm was the assistant head coach and offensive line coach at the time.

Instead the job went to outsider Tomlin. Whisenhunt and Grimm headed for the desert. There were hugs all around before the game, then came a hard-hitting defensive fight.

Whisenhunt felt that, in some ways, the players were winning one for him.

"I got more of a sense of that after the game," he said. "I felt like it was a little bit of an unspoken thing. I feel good about the chemistry we have on our football team, and they are very focused on one goal. They feel like they are heading in the right direction, and I feel very humble that they would take that approach."

Whisenhunt's two-quarterback offense worked well enough. Kurt Warner replaced starter Matt Leinart and, running a no-huddle offense, directed the tying touchdown drive in the third quarter. Leinart returned in the fourth quarter and led Arizona on a 13-play, 82-yard touchdown drive capped by Edgerrin James' 2-yard scoring run that made it 21-7 with 4:14 to play.

Leinart threw 38 yards to Fitzgerald on the first play of his return. Fitzgerald caught 11 passes for 123 yards.

The return to the game was a boost of confidence to Leinart.

"I sat out the whole third quarter and then came back in the fourth probably in the most important part of the game," Leinart said, "and we responded as an offense on a key drive."

The Steelers were without two key defensive starters: safety Troy Polamalu (abdominal strain) and nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring injury).

Tomlin said he wasn't sure how serious the injuries were.

"We will never use injuries as an excuse," he said.

The Steelers' first-quarter touchdown came on third-and-26 when Roethlisberger threw 43 yards to Holmes, who had six catches for 128 yards.

Both teams were without top receivers because of injuries, Arizona's Anquan Boldin and Pittsburgh's Hines Ward.

Game notes


Roethlisberger had been sacked a total of four times in the three previous games. ... Arizona's two losses each were by three points. ... Leinart and Warner were a combined 21-of-35 for 225 yards with no interceptions.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
PIT
ARI
1st Downs1719
Passing 1st downs
1010
Rushing 1st downs
68
1st downs from penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
5-157-14
4th down efficiency
1-11-1
Total Plays6262
Total Yards282301
Yards per play4.54.9
Total Drives1013
Passing205215
Comp-Att
17-3221-35
Yards per pass
5.75.8
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-392-10
Rushing7786
Rushing Attempts
2625
Yards per rush
3.03.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-12-3
Penalties11-725-30
Turnovers22
Fumbles lost
02
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession32:1227:48

Passing Leaders

PITC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Roethlisberger17/322447.6224-39
ARIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Warner14/211326.3101-6
Leinart7/14936.6001-4

Rushing Leaders

PITCARYDSAVGTDLG
Parker19371.9020
Roethlisberger4266.5016
ARICARYDSAVGTDLG
James21773.719
Leinart393.009

Receiving Leaders

PITRECYDSAVGTDLG
Holmes612821.3243
Miller34615.3028
ARIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Fitzgerald1012012.0038
Urban55310.6120

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPITARI
pitTD0:39Santonio Holmes, 43 yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 69 yds, 4:33
70
THIRD QUARTERPITARI
ariTD7:30Jerheme Urban, 6 yd pass from Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 70 yds, 3:43
77
FOURTH QUARTERPITARI
ariTD14:28Steve Breaston, 73 yd punt return (Neil Rackers kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 73 yds, 0:00
714
ariTD4:18Edgerrin James, 2 yd run (Neil Rackers kick is good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 82 yds, 7:19
721
pitTD1:54Santonio Holmes, 7 yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 92 yds, 2:25
1421