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.
Maddox connected with Chris Doering on a nine-yard touchdown pass play 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 five and 22 yards early in the third quarter after a short punt and a fumble. Antwaan Randle El also had a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown as the Steelers scored all but seven of their points in the first 8 1/2 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."
Only one NFL team has made the playoffs after starting 2-6, Cincinnati in 1970.
"We have to go 8-0 [in the second half] to get to 10-6 ... I don't think 9-7 will do it," Steeler linebacker Joey Porter said.
The Cardinals (3-6), winless in nine road games dating to last season, cooperated.
They didn't score a touchdown until an 11-yard pass play from Jeff Blake to Anquan Boldin with Pittsburgh ahead, 28-3.
Blake had passed for 1,548 yards in his last five starts against Pittsburgh, but threw for only 48 yards in the first half. For the game, he completed 23 of 43 passes for 307 yards.
Marcel Shipp was limited to 63 yards in 22 carries after rushing for 306 yards the previous two games.
The Steelers' Jason Gildon had three sacks after getting only two in eight games and finally broke L.C. Greenwood's team record of 73 1/2 sacks. Gildon has 76.