National Football League
Preview
Pittsburgh at Arizona
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, December 8, 2019
Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

A makeshift crew has catapulted the Pittsburgh Steelers to six wins in seven games, and they'll try to stay hot Sunday with a visit to the Arizona Cardinals. Behind their third starting quarterback of the season, Devlin Hodges, and a stout defense that has allowed an average of 15.9 points during the 6-1 stretch, the Steelers enter Week 14 holding down the last wild-card spot in the AFC.

They'll try to take another step toward a ninth playoff berth under head coach Mike Tomlin when they give Hodges another start in Arizona. "I told (Devlin) I had a lot of confidence in his abilities and his preparation and his talent, so I wanted to display that confidence by not talking him to death, not having a bunch of additional meetings and things of that nature," Tomlin told the media of the rookie Hodges. "I wanted to display that confidence by going about our routine. Not only confidence in him, but confidence in our preparation process, how we go about our business of game prep." Hodges will be matched up with another rookie in Kyler Murray, who is coming off the most difficult game of his young career in a 34-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Murray threw for 163 yards with one interception and was sacked six times as Arizona lost its fifth straight game.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Steelers -2.5. O/U: 43.5

ABOUT THE STEELERS (7-5): Hodges threw for 211 yards in last week's 20-13 win over Cleveland and the one score went to wideout James Washington, who has 209 receiving yards and a pair of TDs over the last two weeks. Washington's emergence has been critical with fellow receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster still sidelined with a knee issue. Linebacker Bud Dupree led another solid defensive effort last week with six tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass deflection for a unit that ranks fifth in the NFL in total defense (317.2 yards allowed per game) and sixth in scoring defense (18.8).

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (3-8-1): Murray is going through his first heavy bout of losing football and the former Heisman Trophy winner is hoping to use last week's embarrassment as motivation to get better. "It's just a disgusting feeling," Murray told reporters this week of the loss to the Rams. "I'm sure you were disgusted watching it. I was disgusted being in it. It's not a good feeling. You just don't want to have that anymore, so just try your hardest not to allow that to happen again." The 22-year-old leads rookie quarterbacks with 2,866 passing yards and is second among all signal-callers with 446 rushing yards.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) will miss his third straight game.

2. Arizona is last in the NFL in total defense (426.3 yards) and has allowed an average of 31.8 points during its five-game slide.

3. The Steelers have won the last three meetings, beginning with their 27-23 triumph in Super Bowl XLIII.

PREDICTION: Steelers 26, Cardinals 21
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Pittsburgh 7-5 W2 19.7 18.8 5-2 2-3 6-4 0-0 - - 6-3
Arizona 3-8-1 L5 21.2 29.2 1-4-1 2-4 1-6-1 0-0 - - 2-7-1
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh Arizona
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/18/15 ARI 13 PIT 25 310 141 169 469 55 414
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Pittsburgh L. Jones 66.7 168 2 0
Arizona C. Palmer 64.4 421 1 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Pittsburgh L. Bell 24 88 3.7 0
Arizona C. Johnson 14 40 2.9 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Pittsburgh M. Bryant 6 137 22.8 2
Arizona J. Brown 10 196 19.6 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Pittsburgh M. Bryant 2
Arizona M. Floyd 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Pittsburgh M. Rudolph 61.6 1636 12 9
Arizona K. Murray 63.9 2866 14 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Pittsburgh J. Conner 102 390 3.8 4
Arizona K. Murray 71 446 6.3 4
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Pittsburgh J. Washington 30 578 19.3 3
Arizona L. Fitzgerald 61 649 10.6 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Pittsburgh J. Conner 6
Arizona C. Edmonds 5