Cardinals 15

(3-6, 0-4 away)

Steelers 28

(3-6, 2-3 home)

1:00 PM ET, November 9, 2003


1 2 3 4 T
ARI 0 3 6 615
PIT 0 7 21 028

Maddox throws three, Ward catches two

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- For the first time in seven weeks, the Pittsburgh Steelers know what it's like to win. They said it won't make much difference unless they win the next seven weeks, too.

Tommy Maddox threw three touchdown passes, two to Hines Ward barely a minute apart in a 21-point third quarter, and the Steelers ended their five-game losing streak and Arizona's two-game winning streak with a 28-15 victory Sunday.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Cardinals: Do you see the Cards sticking with Blake next year?
Jeff Blake seems to be the a quick fix to get them over the hump until they find someone who can be their future. Blake's veteran leadership combined with running back Marcel Shipp's great play will keep this team competive. But if they get an opportunity to get a quarterback next year, they'll probably take it.

Question on the Steelers: How bad did the Steelers need a breakout game like this?
This type of performance has been long overdue, but it may have come too late in the season. After a five-game losing streak it's obvious that the Steelers are merely playing for pride for the rest of the season.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Maddox hit Chris Doering on a 9-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to finish off an 83-yard drive that was the Steelers' longest since their opener. Maddox then found Ward on touchdown plays of 5 and 22 yards early in the third quarter following a short punt and a fumble.

"It wasn't one of our better games, but it was a win and, right now, every game is a must win for us," Ward said. "Every game is like a one-game playoff."

Antwaan Randle El also had a 52-yard punt return touchdown as the Steelers scored all but seven of their points in the first 8{ minutes of the third quarter.

"It's obvious this ballgame flipped in the third quarter," Arizona coach Dave McGinnis said. "This was very disappointing coming off two wins and a 7-3 game at halftime. Two possessions and a punt return and it's a completely different game."

Their best quarter of a so-far miserable year gave the Steelers a sliver of hope for the second half of their season.

"Well, it was a win," coach Bill Cowher said, though with not a lot of enthusiasm. "It's nice to finally win a game."

Despite falling three games behind Baltimore in the AFC North, the Steelers (3-6) hope a soft remaining schedule -- only the Ravens started the day above .500 -- can help them get back into the division race. Only one NFL team has made the playoffs after starting 2-6, Cincinnati in 1970, and none has done so since the league adopted a 16-game schedule in 1978.

"We have to go 8-0 (in the second half) to get to 10-6 ... I don't think 9-7 will do it," linebacker Joey Porter said. "We wish we weren't 3-6, but we know we can still get it done."

The Cardinals (3-6), winless in nine road games dating to last season, certainly cooperated. They didn't score a touchdown until Jeff Blake's 11-yard pass to Anquan Boldin with Pittsburgh up 28-3.

Blake has passed for 1,548 yards in his last five starts against Pittsburgh, but threw for only 48 yards in the first half before finishing 23-of-43 for 307 yards. Marcel Shipp was held to 63 yards on 22 carries after rushing for 306 yards the previous two weeks.

"The third quarter just killed us," Blake said. "They just blew us out and ... it was too late to get it done."

Arizona had a chance to make it 28-16 early in the fourth, driving to a first down at the Pittsburgh 5. But Blake threw three straight incompletions before hitting Bryant Johnson near the goal line on a fourth-and-goal pass.

The officials initially ruled Johnson came up short, and Arizona coach Dave McGinnis challenged the call. After the review, referee Jeff Triplette decided Johnson came down in the end zone, but was an ineligible receiver because he went out of bounds before making the catch.

Blake got a second chance on what became fourth-and-goal from the 10 following the five-yard penalty, but was tripped up for no gain by Jason Gildon. Blake later hit Johnson on a 54-yard score, but with only 17 seconds remaining.

Gildon had three sacks after getting only two in eight games and finally broke L.C. Greenwood's team career record of 73{ sacks. Gildon now has 76 sacks.

Pittsburgh, which had allowed at least 30 points in losing three consecutive home games, broke it open after Scott Player's 24-yard punt out of his own end zone on Arizona's first possession of the second half. The Steelers took over at the 27, and a 22-yard pass interference call on Renaldo Hill led to Ward's 5-yard touchdown catch.

Kimo Von Oelhoffen then recovered a Deshea Townsend-forced fumble on the second play of Arizona's next possession, and Maddox (12-of-24, 159 yards) hit Ward for his second touchdown catch in 67 seconds. Townsend also had a sack while making his first start of the season at cornerback for the demoted Dewayne Washington.

Game notes

The Cardinals played in Pittsburgh for the first time in 20 years. They are 0-2 there since 1969. ... Arizona has scored only 59 points while going 0-4 on the road. ... The Steelers have allowed only one 100-yard rusher this season, Kansas City's Priest Holmes. ... Randle El also had an 84-yard punt return touchdown two weeks ago against St. Louis. ... The Steelers hadn't won since beating Cincinnati 17-10 on Sept. 21.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 1 plays, 22 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 22 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 2 plays, 27 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 2 plays, 27 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 4 yds, 0:30
Drive info: 6 plays, 82 yds, 0:35
Drive info: 7 plays, 79 yds, 3:43
ariFG0:18Tim Duncan 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 15 yds, 1:42
Drive info: 12 plays, 83 yds, 5:47
Drive info: 12 plays, 83 yds, 5:47