NFL

Pittsburgh Steelers at Arizona Cardinals Preview

Pittsburgh Steelers

Welcome to the most comprehensive Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day Preview on the internet! NGSC Sports is where you come to find everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich (@PghSportsNation) brings you inside the huddle for both teams, providing all fans with a game story, Steelers keys to success, score prediction, game information, a detailed breakdown of each team, individual stats, team stats, and team injury reports. Heck, you’ll even know the weather at kickoff! The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!

Steelers venture West to face the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray

The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) look to continue their winning ways as they face off against the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona.

The team has won seven of eight after starting off 0-3, and now they find themselves as the #6 seed in the AFC playoff race, with four games remaining.

The Steelers haven’t won two games in a season out West since 1984, but with the way they keep defying the odds, despite the injuries to Ben Roethlisberger, Stephon Tuitt, James Conner, and Juju Smith-Schuster, one thinks they’ll take their chances.

As long as Devlin Hodges continues to play solid ball and quarterback, and doesn’t make any costly turnovers, the offense should be able to put up some points against a bad Cardinals defense that allows 29.3 points per game and 426.3 yards per game to opposing offenses.

The defense will be bringing the heat via T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. They will focus on keeping Kyler Murray contained and forced into making under-pressure throws, which will hopefully lead to a few turnovers. Murray had an interception returned for a touchdown last week vs the LA Rams.

“The kid is very smart, and he does a lot of good things for them,” defensive coordinator Keith Butler said about Murray. “I see why they took him.”

Prediction: Steelers 24 Cardinals 13

Pittsburgh’s Key’s to Success

  1. Bottle up Kyler Murray! Quite simple, really. All the Steelers defense needs to do is contain Murray and get to him early and often. Arizona has allowed 41 sacks in 2019.
  2. Keep big pass plays to a minimum! The Cardinals have some play makers in their offense, including a certain Hall of Famer to be in Larry Fitzgerald, well known to Pittsburgh fans during his days at Pitt. Charlie Kirk, KeeSean Johnson, and Pharoh Cooper are more than capable as well.
  3. Calling for some Benny Snell Football! Regardless if James Conner returns this season, Snell should get the nod till he proves he can’t handle the load. He gets stronger as the game goes on and needs to be a factor this Sunday in Glendale.
  4. Keep Ducking away… Duck Hodges is making good decisions, knowing when to attack downfield, and when to take what’s given. His poise and confidence has elevated this entire offense. He has a good chance at putting up some numbers against Arizona’s poor defense.
  5. NO TURNOVERS. Self explanatory.

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Game Information

Venue: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ.

Field: Tifway 419 Hybrid Bermuda Grass

Game-time: Sunday, December 8th, at 4:25 pm ET

TV: CBS (Local on KDKA-TV)

  • Announcers: Andrew Catalon  (play-by-play) James Lofton (analyst) Amanda Balionis (reporter)

Local radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE & WBGG 970 AM

  • Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) Craig Wolfley (sideline) Missi Matthews (sideline)

Internet broadcast: Steelers Nation Radio (SNR) on Steelers.com

Weather at kickoff: Dome / If open: 66 and partly cloudy.

NFL Standings / NFL Scoreboard

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs Arizona Cardinals History

Series history: Began in 1933

Steelers are 35-23-3 overall vs Cardinals

  • At home: 22-8-1
  • On road: 12-15-2
  • Postseason: 1-0
  • Streak: Steelers won the last three games.
  • Last regular-season meeting: Oct. 18, 2015, in Pittsburgh (Steelers 25, Cardinals 13)
  • Last postseason meeting: Feb. 1st, 2009, in Tampa
    (Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23) – Super Bowl XLIII

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Pittsburgh Steelers

Overall record: 7-5

Head coach: Mike Tomlin (13th Season with Steelers)

  • Overall regular season record: 132-71-1 (.647)
  • Playoff record: 8-7 (Qualified for playoffs 8 times)

2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Roster

Steelers Team Statistics

Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 Schedule 

Last game: Steelers 20 Browns 13

 

Scouting Report

Offense

Quarterbacks

Devlin Hodges*

The former Samford quarterback showed no fear when pressed into the starting role. When he’s in, he plays with poise and confidence.

Passing yards: 530

  • TD Passes: 3 / Interceptions: 2
  • Sacks: 3

Yards rushing: 31

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Mason Rudolph

Yes, this is Rudolph’s first season being a starter with Big Ben out, but he has failed to grab the job by the reigns. Lack of confidence and bad pocket presence has hampered his game significantly.

Passing yards: 1,636

  • TD Passes: 12 / Interceptions: 9
  • Sacks: 14

Yards rushing: 43

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Running backs

Benny Snell, Jr.*

Takes over starting duties with Conner injured. Looking more confident each week. Gets better as the game goes on.

Yards rushing: 279

  • Rushing TD’s: 1

Receptions: 3

  • Yards receiving: 23 / Receiving TD’s: 0

James Conner (Injured)

Down year after a Pro Bowl season. On the sidelines with injuries way too much.

Yards rushing: 390

  • Rushing TD’s: 4

Receptions: 30

  • Yards receiving: 242 / Receiving TD’s: 2

Jaylen Samuels

Athletic player who can play several positions. Dangerous as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Yards rushing: 153

  • Rushing TD’s: 1

Receptions: 39

  • Yards receiving: 234 / Receiving TD’s: 1

Trey Edmunds

Yards rushing: 92

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 5

  • Yards receiving: 41 / Receiving TD’s: 0

Kerrith Whyte

Yards rushing: 53

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 0

  • Yards receiving: 0 / Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

Juju Smith-Schuster (Injured)

Smith-Schuster has struggled this season without Roethlisberger at the helm. Has missed the past two games with a knee injury.

Receptions: 38

  • Receiving yards: 524 / Receiving TD’s: 3

Diontae Johnson*

Talented rookie who makes the most of every reception. Blessed with wicked moves in open space. Needs to be more consistent.

Receptions: 36

  • Receiving yards: 423 / Receiving TD’s: 3

James Washington*

He was ready to have a breakout season and establish himself as a big-time play-maker in the NFL. Has been the team’s best receiver with Juju out.

Receptions: 30

  • Receiving yards: 579 / Receiving TD’s: 3

Tevin Jones

Receptions: 4

  • Receiving yards: 61 / Receiving TD’s: 0

Johnny Holton

Steelers deep threat, but has only one catch.

Receptions: 1

  • Receiving yards: 22 / Receiving TD’s: 0

Deon Cain

Receptions: 2

  • Receiving yards: 40 / Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Vance McDonald*

The Vanimal, when unleashed, is a sight to see. Unfortunately, he has not played up to expectations this season.

Receptions: 32

  • Receiving yards: 242
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

Nate Vannett

The Ohio State product was acquired from the Seahawks earlier this season.

Receptions: 7

  • Receiving yards: 70
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

*Denotes Starter

Offensive line

Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva

Left Guard: B.J. Finney/Ramon Foster

Center: Maurkice Pouncey

Right Guard: David DeCastro

Right Tackle: Matt Feiler

 

Defense (Base 3-4)

Defensive end: Cam Heyward

Defensive tackle: Javon Hargrave/Dan McCullers

Defensive end: Tyson Alualu

Left outside linebacker: T.J. Watt

Left middle linebacker: Devin Bush/Mark Baron

Right middle linebacker: Vince Willams

Right outside linebacker: Bud Dupree

Cornerback: Joe Haden

Strong safety: Terrell Edmunds

Free safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Cornerback: Steven Nelson/Artie Burns

Nickle: Mike Hilton/Cameron Sutton

 

Special teams

Placekicker

Chris Boswell

Extra points: 23-23

Field goals: 23-25

  • 0-19: 1-1 / 20-29: 9-9 / 30-39: 5-5 / 40-49:  7-8 / 50+:  1-2
  • Long: 51

Punter

Jordan Berry

Yards per punt: 46.1

 

Kickoff returners

Kerrith Whyte

Yards per kickoff return: 22.0

  • Return TD’s: 0

 

Punt returner

Diontae Johnson

Yards per kickoff return: 7.1

  • Return TD’s: 0

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Arizona Cardinals

Overall record: 3-8-1

Head coach: Kliff Kingsbury (1st season with Cardinals)

  • Overall regular-season record: 3-8-1 / 3-8-1 with Cardinals
  • Playoff record: 0-0 (Qualified for playoffs 0 times)

2019 Arizona Cardinals Team Roster

Arizona Team Statistics

Last game: Rams 34 Cardinals 7

 

Scouting Report

Offense

Quarterbacks

Kyler Murray*

The talented rookie has had his ups and downs, but looks to be a future star for years to come.

Passing yards: 2,866

  • TD passes: 14
  • Interceptions: 6
  • Sacks: 41

Yards rushing: 446

  • Rushing TD’s: 4

 

Running backs

Kenyon Drake*

Has taken over the starting duties since being acquired from Miami.

Yards rushing: 243

  • Rushing TD’s: 1

Receptions: 18

  • Yards receiving: 91
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

David Johnson

Once one of the best in the league, injuries have submarined his year.

  • Yards rushing: 317
  • Rushing TD’s: 2

Receptions: 33

  • Yards receiving: 332
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Chase Edmunds

Yards rushing: 295

  • Rushing TD’s: 4

Receptions: 12

  • Yards receiving: 105
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

 

Wide Receivers

Larry Fitzgerald*

The future HOF receiver from Pitt  leads the team in receptions and touchdown catches.

Receptions: 61

  • Receiving yards: 649
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

Charlie Kirk* 

Arizona’s future #1 WR after Larry Legend retires. Having a very solid rookie year.

Receptions: 49

  • Receiving yards: 531
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

KeeSean Johnson

Receptions: 21

  • Receiving yards: 187
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Pharoh Cooper

Receptions: 20

  • Receiving yards: 183
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Damiere Byrd

Receptions: 17

  • Receiving yards: 178
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Andy Isabella

Receptions: 7

  • Receiving yards: 180
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Tight Ends

Charles Clay*

Receptions: 15

  • Receiving yards: 198
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Maxx Williams

Receptions: 11

  • Receiving yards: 139
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

*Denotes Starter

 

Defense (Base 3-4)

Have had some success in getting to the opposing QB, as they have 30 sacks, but overall, they are pathetic, allowing 426.3 yards per game in total yards, and allowing 307.5 in the passing game. LB Jordan Hicks leads the team with 116 tackles and three INT’s, with fellow LB Chandler Jones a beast getting 13.5 sacks so far. Don’t forget our old adversary Terrell Suggs, who has a few sacks, but is a shell of his former self.

Special Teams

Placekicker

Zane Gonzalez

Extra points: 21-22

FG: 26-29

  • 0-19: 0-0 / 20-29: 10-10 / 30-39: 10-11 / 40-49: 4-6 / 50+: 2-2
  • Long: 54

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Injury report (12/7/19)

Pittsburgh

  • Out: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Knee), RB James Conner (Shoulder)
  • Doubtful: N/A
  • Questionable: N/A

Arizona

  • Out: N/A
  • Doubtful: N/A
  • Questionable: CB Byron Murphy (Calf), CB Kevin Peterson (Shoulder), OL Max Garcia (Toe), OL A.Q. Shipley (Illness), S Jalen Thompson (Concussion)

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Offensive stats

Total yards per game 

  • Pittsburgh: 303.5
  • Arizona: 355.1

Passing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 212.7
  • Arizona: 241

Rushing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 90.8
  • Arizona: 114.1

Points per game

  • Pittsburgh: 19.7
  • Arizona: 21.3

 

Defensive stats

Total yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 317.2
  • Arizona: 426.3

Passing yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 213.5
  • Arizona: 307.5

Rushing yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 103.7
  • Arizona: 118.8

Points allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 18.8
  • Arizona: 29.3

Sacks

  • Pittsburgh: 43
  • Arizona: 30

Interceptions

  • Pittsburgh: 15
  • Arizona: 6

Fumbles recovered

  • Pittsburgh: 15
  • Arizona: 13

Author Profile

Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all!

As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football.

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