Ben Patrick (Chris Graythen/Getty)
The Arizona Cardinals closed in on a 10-0 deficit thanks to Ben Patrick (10-7), but a 100-yard interception return by James Harrison got in the Cardinals way. The Cardinals saw doors close in the first half, but Kurt Warner opened windows elsewhere. But it wasn't enough for the Cardinals to lead after the first half, 17-7.
Unlikely hero tight end Ben Patrick made the most out of Edgerrin James’ hard work in the Cardinals opening touchdown. The Cardinals trailed 10-0 courtesy of a 1-yard touchdown run by Gary Russell and a field goal by Jeff Reed.
But James put in the work to successfully move the chains when the Cardinals got the ball back after going four and out on their opening posession. James compiled 27 all purpose yards, which set up Kurt Warner for a deep pass to Anquan Boldin (45 yards). Patrick was the lucky man to receive the 1-yard pass in the end zone, no doubt the best yard of Patrick’s life.
The Cardinals tight end corps has plagued Arizona all year, so the irony is deep that Patrick was the go-to guy.
Steve Breaston also contributed to the touchdown drive with 20 yards. He donated even more to the cause on a return that set the Cardinals up inside the Steelers 50.
But the opportunity fell flat, and Ben Graham was called to punt.
When one door closes another one opens.
Karlos Dansby breathed new life into the second quarter when he picked off Ben Roethlisberger.
The turnover created an opportunity for Larry Fitzgerald to get the ball in his hands for the first time in the half.
But a bad throw ended up in James Harrison's hands, and he made the Cardinals pay with a 100-yard interception return to end the half, 17-7.
The Cardinals head into the locker room with plenty to talk about.
Patrick’s touchdown appeared to be the Cardinals' saving grace. The Steelers’ defense successfully kept the Warner and his offense off the field in the first quarter. Pittsburgh dominated possession 11:28 to 3:32. Warner went four and out on the Cardinals first try.
Ken Whisenhunt was the hero of the first quarter, as he profitably challenged Roethlisberger’s touchdown leap. The refs gave the Steelers quarterback the benefit of the doubt, but Whisenhunt’s seen that show and erased what could have been the Cardinals first giveaway on the opening drive in quite some time.
Jeff Reed gave the Steelers a 3-0 lead with an 18-yard field goal.
The Cardinals defense showed plenty of promise in the first 30 minutes. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie used his speed to make up for lost yards and bat away a possible touchdown pass. He was stupendous in coverage throughout the first half.
Keys to the Second Half: Warner needs to get on his momentum horse. The Cardinals get the ball back after the break and need to make something happen. Trite but true.