The Pittsburgh Steelers used a long second half performance to defeat a very good Arizona Cardinals team, 25-13. Once third string quarterback Landry Jones played very well in the second half to lead the team to victory.
In the first half, the Steelers couldn't do anything on offense. Michael Vick had negative passing yards. Le'Veon Bell had a few good runs but didn't look sharp, either. Antonio Brown had one reception for -6 yards. Martavis Bryant had one catch for one yard. Things weren't looking good for the Steelers, other than the fact that Chris Boswell made his second straight field goal for the team.
Really, Pittsurgh's defense kept them in the game in the first half. The Steelers intercepted Carson Palmer once, though he did throw for over 200 yards in the half. The defense forced the Cardinals to punt twice. Chandler Catanzaro missed a field goal, which was nice for the Steelers. Pittsburgh went into the locker room down 10-3, luckily,
Dri Archer returned the opening kick off of the second half to the Steelers' 40 yard line. From there, Mike Vick put together a short drive that resulted in a Chris Boswell 48 yard field goal (making him 3-for-3 in a Steelers uniform). The Cardinals would fumble just two plays later, giving the Steelers the ball at the Arizona 32.
The man, the myth, the newly-born legend Landry Jones started the next drive at quarterback. On the fourth play of the drive, Jones connected with Martavis Bryant (who made an acrobatic catch) for an eight-yard touchdown. Jones made a terrible throw on the two-point conversion, though, and the Steelers led 12-10.
The next four drives saw nothing special; a Cardinals punt, a Steelers field goal, a Cardinals field goal, and anther Steelers field goal. Jones made some nice throws on the two Steelers drives, but the best part was seeing Chris Boswell make his fourth field goal out of as many attempts on the day.
Arizona, on its next drive, seemed poised to take the lead. Palmer and company effortlessly drove down the field, getting all the way down to the 20 yard line of the Steelers. The next play, though, was the best play of the game to this point, as Mike Mitchell intercepted Palmer in the end zone, giving the Steelers the ball with just over two minutes left, up by five. It was one of quite a few bad throws by Palmer on the day.
After a penalty on the interception, the Steelers took over at their own 10 yard line. Bell ran the ball once, then the play of the game happened. Jones connected with Bryant across the middle, who then proceeded to run 60+ yards to the end zone for an 88 yard touchdown, clinching the victory for the team.
Jones finished the game 8-for-12 with 168 yards and two touchdowns, while Vick finished 3-for-8 with six yards. Martavis Bryant made his presence known in his first game back, finishing with 137 on just six receptions and two touchdowns. The defense didn't play great, as they allowed 421 yards to Palmer, but they did force three turnovers. Also worth noting, Kelvin Beachum suffered a torn ACL in the game and is out for the season, according to the team. Beachum was one of the best left tackles in football last season.
Looking forward, Lanrdy Jones should definitely be the starting quarterback next week against the Chiefs, if Ben Roethlisberger is a no-go. After Jones' performance today, the team should be in no need to rush Big Ben back.