Steelers, Cardinals game delayed twice for inclement weather before Arizona wins 24-10

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett, right, is stopped just short of the endzone by Arizona Cardinals defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter, left, during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (AP)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals’ 24-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers was delayed twice Sunday because of inclement weather.

Halftime at Acrisure Stadium was extended by more than 30 minutes after an initial round of heavy wind and rain swept through Pittsburgh. The second delay lasted nearly an hour and came with the Cardinals up 17-3 midway through the third quarter.

Pittsburgh treated the breaks as extended halftimes, with players trying to keep warm while the coaches tried to come up with adjustments on both sides of the ball.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, said they held a dance-off while trying to put the finishing touches on just their third win of the season.

“The energy in the locker room (during) both (delays) was really good,” first-year Arizona coach Jonathan Gannon said. “The detail, the focus of what we’re trying to get accomplished when we go back out I thought was really good. They handled it really well. It’s kind of disjointed a little bit, but came out ready to play however many times we walked out of the locker room tonight.”

Before the first delay, wind and rain picked up in the latter portions of the second quarter. Officials asked for fans in the exposed areas inside the stadium to take cover in the concourse and a dog race between Corgis that was scheduled to be part of the halftime entertainment was canceled.

Players were not aware there had been a delay until halftime was nearly over. Steelers kicker Chris Boswell even came onto the field for his typical warm-up and even made a couple into the closed end of the stadium before being ushered onto the field and back into the locker room.

Players returned to the field around 3:05 p.m. and took extra time to warm up following the first delay.

They didn’t stay there long. Midway through the third quarter, a bolt of lightning nearby as the Cardinals were kicking an extra point following James Conner’s 1-yard touchdown sent players back to the locker room for 53 minutes.

“You’re in the middle of the third quarter of a game, it has to be business,” Steelers wide receiver Allen Robinson said. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to go out there and win the game. We weren’t playing our best ball so it was definitely talking about schematics, different things like that.”

Pittsburgh didn’t mount much of a charge after returning to play, though head coach Mike Tomlin declined to blame the disruptions for his team’s lackluster performance.

“Both squads were delayed, that’s the unforeseen,” Tomlin said. “I’m not attributing any quality or lack thereof in terms of performance to the delays.”

As the skies cleared, rainbows appeared on both sides of Acrisure Stadium while a handful of fans took off their shirts and chanted “Here We Go Steelers.”