GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — No matter where the Pittsburgh Steelers are on the field, Mike Wallace is a threat to go deep.
Never was that more apparent than on Sunday, when his 95-yard catch from Ben Roethlisberger, the longest pass reception in Steelers history, set the stage for Pittsburgh’s 32-20 victory over Arizona, the Cardinals’ fifth loss in a row.
“You know he can run by you,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, “but he still finds a way to do it.”
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt had studied tape of Wallace outracing one defender after another.
“We knew that was coming,” he said. “We did everything we could to work to prevent that.”
To no avail.
“You put it out there for a guy like that and you start smiling,” Roethlisberger said, “because you know he is not going to get caught.”
Roethlisberger, 26 of 39 for 361 yards, also had TD passes of 12 yards to Heath Miller and 4 yards to Emmanuel Sanders in the first game between the teams since Pittsburgh’s 27-23 thriller over the Cardinals in the 2009 Super Bowl.
Kevin Kolb threw a pair of touchdown passes for Arizona (1-5), his first in three games, but missed several open receivers and, with a blitzing LaMarr Woodley in his face, drew an intentional grounding call in the Cardinals’ end zone for a safety.
Pittsburgh (5-2) won its third straight and improved to 2-2 on the road.
Shaun Suisham kicked field goals of 41, 42 and 39 yards for the Steelers.
The big play from Roethlisberger to Wallace, cheered on by a crowd that included a generous and boisterous bunch of Steelers fans, came in the second quarter after an Arizona drive stalled at the Steelers 39 and Dave Zastudil’s 30-yard punt pinned Pittsburgh on its 9-yard line. A false start penalty pushed it back to the Steelers 5.
On the next play, Roethlisberger dropped back into the Pittsburgh end zone and lofted a pass down the sideline toward Wallace, who had beaten cornerback Richard Marshall.
Wallace caught the ball in stride, breaking free of a pair of would-be tacklers along the way, and raced to the end zone for the score that made it 14-0 with 8:09 left in the half.
He said he was not the No. 1 receiver on the play, but was trying to clear things out for Miller underneath.
“Their guy jumped outside and let me get inside,” he said. “The safety was in the middle of the field so I just threw my hand up.”
And the ball landed perfectly in his fingertips.
“A play like that kind of deflates them I would hope. I hope it takes a lot of out them but they kept playing,” Wallace said.
The previous longest pass play was 90 yards, first set by Terry Bradshaw to Mark Malone against Seattle in 1981, then matched by Bubby Brister to Dwight Stone against Denver in 1990 and Kordell Stewart to Bobby Shaw against Baltimore in 2001.
Steelers get record-long play in victory
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