After their bye week, the Arizona Cardinals sit at 1-4,
three and a half games behind the surprising San Francisco
49ers in the NFC West standings.
In other words, there’s work to be done for the Cardinals
to climb back into contention, and that work starts this
week as the defending AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers
come to town to battle Ken Whisenhunt’s team on Sunday.
Pittsburgh is 4-2 following their hard-fought 17-13 win
over Jacksonville in Week 6.
A game against Pittsburgh always takes on significant
meaning for Cardinals’ fans. There are several former
Steelers on the Cardinals’ roster and coaching staff.
Pittsburgh has a huge national following, including right
here in the Valley. And of course, the Steelers beat the
Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, 27-23
Here’s what’s going on behind enemy lines in the Steel
City leading up to Sunday’s clash at University of Phoenix
Friday, October 21th
Ben Roethlisberger wants to run the no-huddle offense more often and admits to some disappointment because his coaches will not let him.
The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver can still see himself breaking free in the final seconds of the 2009 Super Bowl against the Steelers. He can still see quarterback Kurt Warner rearing back to throw. He can still see Pittsburgh linebacker LaMarr Woodley sacking Warner and forcing the fumble that gave the Steelers their sixth Lombardi Trophy.
Joey Porter remembers when he was the young linebacker for the Steelers getting ready to replace Jason Gildon. He remembers when he was a perennial Pro Bowl pick at right outside linebacker and registered 60 sacks, the fourth most in Steelers history.
The way to stop Larry Fitzgerald is not so much by assigning Ike Taylor to him and double-covering him all game. The Steelers can stop Fitzgerald, one of the game’s most dangerous wide receivers, the way they have stopped other receivers in the past — by pressuring the quarterback, in this case Arizona’s Kevin Kolb
Thursday, October 20th
Even though Roethlisberger is on pace to surpass his
career averages in yards, touchdown attempts and
completions, his inconsistent play has led the highly
regarded Steelers offense to sputter at times through the
first six games.
“I feel we can change it up,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s a
weapon for us. We just haven’t had a chance to get into it
yet. I wanted to get into it last week. I love doing it.
We have so many weapons we need to utilize it.”
The down time has also given Harrison time to get his back
better as well and I asked him about it tonight on
Twitter. He replied, “the back is doing a lot better, I
guess my eye injury has helped my back out!”
Wednesday, October 19th
Mendenhall returned from a hamstring to go over 100
rushing yards for the first time this season as the
Steelers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 17-13.
Mendenhall’s day included a career-long 68-yard run.
When the Cardinals host the Steelers on Sunday, there may
be as much familiarity as ever between the organizations
that have been linked through a war-necessitated merger in
1944 — and, more recently, former Steelers offensive
coordinator and current Cardinals head coach Ken
They have lost the ball 12 times– six interceptions and
six fumbles. They have come up with two of their own, one
interception and one fumble. Yet, they stand 4-2.
What a difference Keisel has made since returning to the
lineup after missing two games with a knee problem. The
same defense that was gashed for 86 yards and a touchdown
by Indianapolis running back Joseph Addai and 155 yards
and a touchdown by Houston’s Arian Foster in his absence
stiffened almost immediately.
Tuesday, October 18th
Polamalu left last Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter
with concussion-like symptoms, but coach Mike Tomlin said
the six-time Pro Bowler “appears to be good to go.”
Seeing is believing, goes the oversimplification, but at
the highest levels of professional football, particularly
in the way the Steelers approach their pass defense,
believing isn’t seeing
Warren Sapp hasn’t been heard from on the topic recently,
but after six weeks of the NFL season the Steelers defense
leads the league in yards allowed per game (270.5) to go
with their standing of No. 1 against the pass (157.7).
The Steelers rank 22nd in the NFL in scoring (19.8 points
per game), even though they compare favorably in several
other statistical categories.
They are fifth in the NFL in third-down conversions (48.7
percent) and 10th in total offense (373.0 yards per game).
Since the season-opening debacle in Baltimore, the
Steelers have averaged just one giveaway a game.
Monday, October 17th
It’s a game the Steelers should have won by at least three
touchdowns. The offense went cold after scoring on its
first three possessions, but it did a good job sticking
with the run and did not commit a turnover. The defense
did not give up a play longer than 21 yards but missed
The Steelers ran out to their fourth victory and again had
to do so looking over their shoulders near the finish
line. They have been the hare a few times this season,
flashing easily to nice leads early and then nearly
falling asleep as the tortoise creeps up on them.
The injury is not believed to be serious, and coach Mike
Tomlin said after the 17-13 win that the Steelers held out
Polamalu because they “wanted to err on the side of