Each coach criticized his offense but the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense constantly pressured quarterback Neil Lomax and forced the St. Louis Cardinals into three turnovers, which was enough for a 23-10 NFL victory today.

The Cardinals (3-4) have lost three in a row and have totaled 27 points in those games. Twice in the fourth period today they penetrated the Steelers' 15-yard line and failed to score.

"That was ridiculous," Coach Jim Hanifan said. "We should have scored on those drives but we didn't execute. We had guys open but we just didn't get the ball to them."

Lomax passed for only 26 yards in the first half. Only once in the first three periods did he get his team across the 50-yard line, although the Steelers seldom rushed more than three linemen.

Mark Malone's 45-yard touchdown pass to Louis Lipps and Frank Pollard's 14-yard touchdown run, both in a three-minute span of the first quarter, gave the Steelers the lead for good. Gary Anderson helped with three field goals as the Steelers (3-4) ended their three-game losing streak.

With three minutes left in the first period, Lipps got behind Cedric Mack and caught his seventh touchdown pass this season.

The Steelers made it 14-3 on the last play of the quarter when Pollard ran untouched into the end zone. Two plays earlier, Malone, facing third and 16, had scrambled 18 yards for a first down at the 18.

Although depressed about his team's offense, Coach Chuck Noll of the Steelers admitted the victory was "needed very badly."