Play of the game: Mike Wallace's 95-yard catch
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Nothing makes Mike Wallace's eyes widen like a clear view of single coverage.
Well, except when he also sees the safety standing in another zip code.
"I get happy," he said with a broad grin. "Lunch meat."
There evidently is no menu that would alter the Steelers' appetite in this case: On the first snap after being pinned at their 5-yard line on a punt, Ben Roethlisberger took two steps back, held on a bit thanks to sound protection, then completed a 95-yard touchdown pass to Wallace. The catch-and-run was the longest pass play in franchise history, the second-longest play from scrimmage.
"That's pretty nice to hold a record like that," Wallace said.
The ball traveled 45 yards in the air, came down into Wallace's arms in full stride at the Steelers' 42, and he burst free — doesn't he always• — to find the end zone. That put the Steelers up, 14-0, in the second quarter en route to a 32-20 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The play, intended to be far less ambitious, called for Roethlisberger to throw underneath to tight end David Johnson and escape the shadow of the goal posts.
But, moments after the snap, Roethlisberger took "a peek out of the corner of my eye" to the right side at Wallace.
"We got the coverage we wanted," Wallace said. "The safety was in the middle of the field, so I just threw up my hand and Ben saw me."
The cornerback was Richard Marshall, who jumped outside and allowed Wallace to beat him to the inside. And that might have been fine had safety Rashad Johnson not begun his pursuit from so far away.
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said, "We knew that was coming. We did everything we could to prevent it."
It's hard to imagine how the Cardinals did that with single-coverage, but the Steelers were delighted they did.
"You put it out there for a guy like that, he makes a play, and you kind of start smiling because you know he's not going to get caught," Roethlisberger said.
The Arizona secondary took it differently.
"It was my fault," Marshall said. "He's fast, and that's all there is to it."
"It's something we talked about all week: We wanted to keep 17 in front of us," Johnson said. "It's hard to guess on a guy when he's that fast."
This was Wallace's sixth consecutive game with a catch of 40 or more yards, the NFL's longest such streak since Isaac Bruce in 2000, and the touchdown was his 21st of 40 or more yards. For the season, Wallace has 36 catches for 730 yards and five touchdowns, an average reception of 20.3 yards.
The previous longest pass in franchise history was a three-way tie for 90 yards, most recently between Kordell Stewart and Bobby Shaw on Dec. 16, 2001, at Baltimore. The longest play from scrimmage remains a 97-yard run by Bobby Gage on Dec. 4, 1949, at Chicago.
Steelers vs. Cardinals 10/2 3⁄11
The Steelers defeat Arizona, 32-20, at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police charge New Florence man in St. Clair officer’s killing
- Fatal HOV lane crash in Ross under investigation
- Penn State coach fires offensive coordinator
- New Kensington man killed in North Buffalo crash
- Travelers advised to arrive 2 hours early for flights from Pittsburgh International Airport
- Man surrenders after standoff in Middle Hill
- Police officer fatally shot in New Florence; suspect in custody
- Indiana Twp. liver transplant recipient, 2, takes steps toward normal life
- Outdoors notices: Nov. 30, 2015
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout