"Quick Yinzing" is Steel City Underground's post-game feature where there is no research, no extensive stats, all "Renegade" and reactions in recapping the Pittsburgh Steelers' game performance.
On Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers played in the home of the Arizona Cardinals but you wouldn't know it. The chants of "Steelers, Steelers, Steelers" was audible even on the television broadcast. Playing one of their most complete games this season, on both sides of the ball, Pittsburgh was cheered on by a stadium full of Steelers fans who wanted a victory. With solid play on both sides of the ball, despite the Cardinals trying their best to use an up-tempo pace on offense to wear down the Steelers defense, the black and gold will head home with a three-game win streak after defeating Arizona, 23-17.
All season, there has been concern over the youthfulness and lack of experience among the skill players on Pittsburgh's offense. The worry was warranted as the team has put together some poor performances in low-scoring efforts. This weekend, with Devlin "Duck" Hodges fired up, those skill players stepped up and looked like a cohesive unit - just in time for December football and a real run at controlling their playoff destiny. Diontae Johnson led the receiving corps with a punt-return for a touchdown and a great toe-tap catch in the end zone for another touchdown on the day. While James Washington drew a lot of attention, he also made some nice plays as the Cardinals drew penalty flags for interfering with him.
Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels, and Kerrith Whyte ran the ball by committee and it was effective. Not only were the trio able to balance the offense and keep Arizona's defense on its toes but they chewed up the game clock as well.
Defensively, the Steelers benefitted yet again from exceptional plays from T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, and Bud Dupree. Leading the charge in containing and pressuring Murray, the three helped the defensive backfield see the receiving routes and play solid coverage. Joe Haden jumped one Murray route for an interception and then sealed the win for the Steelers by picking off an errant throw that was made possible due to Heyward chasing Murray and Watt making the hit on the rookie quarterback. The ball floated, allowing Haden the grab for his second interception in the game. Earlier, in the third quarter, Watt defended the end zone, grabbed a pass meant for Maxx Williams, and knelt down for a touchback with the score 20-10 in Pittsburgh's favor.
There were a few things that didn't go quite the way the Steelers would have liked them to. Jordan Berry got nervous during a punt attempt and was hit, hard, by two Cardinals defenders when he opted not to kick it. The result was a fumble that set Arizona up in the prime position to score. Murray hit David Johnson for a touchdown to make the score 20-17 with a little over six-and-one-half minutes left in the game. Johnny Holton was held on a punt return coverage play that wasn't flagged and resulted in a long return by Pharoh Cooper. The defense was getting gassed early in the game due to the pace Kliff Kingsbury had Murray running the offense at but were able to recover as Mike Tomlin and the coaching staff worked players in and out of the lineup.
Once again, Chris Boswell was perfect on the day - something Steelers fans can rally around as well.
When it was all wrapped up, after Hodges and the offense took the victory formation following Haden's second pick, Steelers Nation couldn't be any happier than the players and team were themselves in securing a critical victory on the road.