The Cardinals were finally able to make a dent in the scoreboard before the end of the half with running back Alfonso Smith punching it in from the one yard line. Smith has taken over workhorse duties when starter Beanie Wells (right knee) headed to the locker room with around the two minute warning.
The Cardinals' 80-yard scoring drive was assisted by handful of yellow flags due to Steelers' defensive miscues. The Cardinals then turned around and returned the favor with rookie conerrback Patrick Peterson getting flagged for pass interference and illegal hands to the face, setting up a Shaun Suisham 41-yard field goal that made the score 17-7. In the first half alone, both teams combined for seven penalties that allowed first downs (four of which by the Cardinals).
The Steelers got their other touchdown on a 95-yard bomb to the speedy Mike Wallace (the longest passing play in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers). Cardinals cornerback Richard Marshall bit on a nice play action fake by Ben Roethlisberger, leaving Wallace wide open since safety Rashad Johnson failed to provide any help over the top.
The game would be much closer if it wasn't for Kevin Kolb missing rookie tight end Rob Houseler for a wide open touchdown early in the second quarter. The third round pick is having a nice game filling in for the injured Todd Heap (hamstring) with two catches for 28 yards, good enough for second on the team.
Kolb has had an up and down game so far completing 9-17 passes for 121 yards and one pick. Larry Fitzgerald is leading the team in receiving with two catches for 44 yards. Wells was able to rack up 42 yards on 12 carries before leaving the game with his knee injury. Since then, the Cardinals have went with a noticeable amount of empty backfield formations.
For the Steelers, Mike Wallace's only catch has been the 95-yard touchdown but wide receiver Aaron Brown is one pace for a new career high in receiving, catching four passes for 66 yards. The Cardinals also continued to bottle up the Steelers run game, holding Rashard Mendenhall to five carries for three yards. The Steelers only managed to total 18 rushing yards in one half of play