You cant say that the Arizona Cardinals werent a

first_imgYou can’t say that the Arizona Cardinals weren’t aware ofBen Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace passing combinationheading into Sunday’s game. They were.Defensive coordinator Ray Horton spoke last week aboutscaling down the defense and taking a lot of looks out ofthe rotation because, in his words, they “weren’t ready.” Horton also explained a big reason why things were scaleddown. “Because of Mike Wallace,” Horton said. “He’s aspecial guy. You have to respect what he does and I don’twant a bad matchup with 17 (Wallace) who’s averaging 20yards a catch running deep on us.” Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Roethlisberger saw it, and threw a perfect strike toWallace who had blown by Marshall off the line (Marshallnever made contact with Wallace and took a very strangepath in coverage). Johnson, who again, was lined up onthe other side of the field, simply had too far to run tocatch the lightning-fast receiver, and literally, historywas made.But it wasn’t just that play that stood out in the loss.Roethlisberger threw for 361 yards, his 9th-highestsingle-game passing total. And it was only the secondgame in Roethlisberger’s top nine where the Steelers werenever playing from behind.How about the penalties? The Cardinals committed ninepenalties for 67 yards in the loss. Five of thoseinfractions came against members of the secondary. Wilsonwas flagged for a facemasking personal foul on theSteelers’ first touchdown drive. There were threepenalties on the secondary during Pittsburgh’s drive thatended in a field goal that put the Steelers up 17-7 astime ran out in the first half. Marshall’s defensiveholding call on third down that extended the drive wasobviously the most costly.Patrick Peterson, who actually showed glimpses ofimprovement in coverage, had three penalties on the day,including an offsides on a 47-yard field goal attempt,that shrunk it to a 42-yard attempt that Shaun Suishamnailed. And for good measure, reserve Michael Adams had twopenalties, although one was declined. The other was adefensive holding call which offset a face masking penaltyon tackle Jamon Meredith on a third down play.We knew there would be a transition period for theCardinals’ defensive backfield, with new starters A.J.Jefferson and Peterson at the corners and an injuredAdrian Wilson playing through pain (again).But after a bye week, you could have argued that theCardinals’ defensive backs would have showed improvement.That was not the case on Sunday. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkecenter_img Top Stories Comments   Share   D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ If you didn’t watch the game and somebody told you thatWallace would have only three catches in the game, you’dprobably be pretty happy about it. Wallace did have only 3 catches but one of them went for ateam-record 95 yards and a touchdown in the 2nd quarter ofthe Steelers’ 32-20 win. It was just part of anightmarish day for the Cardinals secondary.Think about this for a minute…in the 77 seasons ofPittsburgh Steelers football and the 28,348 passes thathave been thrown in the history of the franchise (yes, Ifigured it out–I’m pathetic), not one of them has spannedmore yardage than the Roethlisberger to Wallace touchdownpass that put the Steelers up two touchdowns midwaythrough the 1st quarter in Glendale on Sunday. And this was after Horton made tweaks to the defense toprotect against bad match-ups. Have you seen the replay?Richard Marshall guarding Mike Wallace with Rashad Johnsonsupplying over-the-top support is the very definition of abad matchup against Mike Wallace.The play was interesting because before the snap, AdrianWilson was motioning to Johnson, who was lined up on theright side of the Cardinals’ defensive alignment–oppositeof where Wallace, the only wide-out in the Pittsburghformation. Wilson was playing close to the line ofscrimmage against the Steelers’ big, two tight-endformation.last_img

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