Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day: Cardinals Preview | Steel City Underground

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Pittsburgh Steelers GameDay Preview

Welcome to the most comprehensive Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day Preview on the internet! Steel City Underground 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 weekly 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

NO TURNOVERS

Self explanatory.

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

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

Pittsburgh Steelers

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

Defense (Base 3-4)

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

Arizona Cardinals

Overall record: 3-8-1

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.

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

Injury report (12/7/19)

Pittsburgh

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

Arizona

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




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