Steelers defeat Arizona Cardinals, 32-20
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is hit as he begins to pass.
Steelers Antonio Brown picks up yardage against the Cardinals.
Steelers' Mike Wallace just misses making his second touchdown catch of the day against the Cardinals
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes, including the longest in team history of 95 yards to Mike Wallace, as the Steelers own their third game in a row, 32-20 over the Arizona Cardinals.
The Steelers improved their record to 5-2 while Arizona dropped to 1-5 after losing their fifth straight.
Roethlisberger threw TD passes of 12 yards to Heath Miller, 4 yards to Emmanuel Sanders and that 95-yarder to Wallace.
Shaun Suisham kicked three field goals of 41, 42 and 39 yards. The Steelers also scored a safety when Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb, with LaMarr Woodley about to sack him, threw the ball away in his own end zone for an intentional grounding penalty and automatic safety.
Roethlisberger completed 26 of 38 passes for 361 yards and no interceptions and a season-high passer rating of 121.8.
Eight different receivers caught those passes including two who topped 100 yards -- Wallace and Antonio Brown, who had his best day in two years with the Steelers with 7 for 102. Wallace had 3 for 118.
The Steelers led 26-14 entering the fourth quarter before Suisham kicked two field goals for a 32-14 lead. Arizona then scored its third touchdown of the game on Kolb's 2-yard pass to Early Doucet with 2:53 to go. Their two-point conversion try after that failed and the Steelers led 32-20.
The teams had traded touchdowns in the third quarter, when Woodley also forced the two-point safety.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, who played at Pitt, took a short pass over the middle from quarterback Kevin Kolb and turned it into a 73-yard touchdown on the Cardinals' first series of the second half.
The Steelers responded with an 80-yard touchdown drive that ended when Sanders caught his 4-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger. The quarterback completed 6 of 8 for 80 yards on that drive that included losses on a sack and a run.
While Woodley did not get a sack on the safety, he had two others to give him 5 1/2 sacks in his past three games and 7 on the season.
That longest pass play in Steelers history helped propel them to a 17-7 halftime lead.
Roethlisberger uncorked a deep pass from his five that Wallace caught at his 40 and turned it into a 95-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
That one-play drive gave the Steelers a 14-0 lead but the Cardinals closed within a touchdown on their next drive when Alfonso Smith scored from the one. That 80-yard, 13-play drive stayed alive thanks to two penalties against cornerback Ike Taylor on two third-down pass incompletions.
The Steelers came back to score on Suisham's 41-yard field goal on the last play of the half, which ended with the Steelers ahead 17-7.
Wallace's TD catch was 5-yards longer than the previous longest pass play in team history -- three that covered 90 yards. However, it was not the longest play from scrimmage in their history. That one belongs to Bobby Gage, who ran 97 yards for a touchdown againt the Chicago Bears in 1949. The longest play in Steelers history was a 102-yard fumble return by Travis Davis against the Carolina Panthers in 1999.
There was also that 100-yard interception return by James Harrison in Super Bowl XLIII against . . . the Arizona Cardinals.
The worst intercepting team in the NFL THIS YEAR took the early lead thanks to an interception, only their second of the season.
With linebacker Lawrence Timmons steaming at him, Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb threw into a crowd and linebacker James Farrior got a hand on it to deflect it. Ryan Clark intercepted and the Steeles set up shop at Arizona's 31 to run their first offensive series of the game.
On the fifth play of that drive, Miller flashed wide open in the right side of the end zone and Roethlisberger delivered him the ball for a 12-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Steelers lead.
First Published October 23, 2011 4:43 pm