The Cardinals are down 10 to the Steelers at halftime in Arizona, but they will likely have to make up the gap without Beanie Wells.
Wells left in the second quarter with a sprained right knee and his return is being called questionable at this point. The Cardinals were able to finish off the drive that saw Wells get hurt with an Alfonso Smith touchdown plunge from the one that cut the Steelers lead to 14-7. They needed help from a pair of Ike Taylor illegal contact penalties on third downs to maintain possession of the ball. Without those flags, it looked like the Cardinals were going to fail to finish a drive in opposition territory, something that’s been a problem all year.
The secondary has also been a problem all year and it has been in the first half as well. Mike Wallace got behind everybody to catch a 95-yard touchdown catch, the longest in Steelers history, and Ben Roethlisberger also connected with Heath Miller for the first Steelers score. Cornerbacks Richard Marshall and Patrick Peterson then had penalties — two on Peterson — to extend the final Steelers drive of the half long enough for Shaun Suisham to extend the lead to 17-7 with a field goal.
The Cardinals have done a good job of bottling up the Steelers running backs, so should the Steelers decide to go conservative again in the second half they will have a chance to turn things around on the scoreboard. After letting the Jaguars back into last week’s game by going vanilla on offense, that’s not a scenario one can easily discard. If they keep throwing, though, it looks like the Cardinals are going to have a tough time stopping them.