Xtra Points

Opportunities lost

The depth chart at quarterback included "fluidity," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin maintained, heading into Friday night's preseason finale.

But quarterback Dwayne Haskins was unable to take advantage.

Listed No. 3 at the position behind Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph, Haskins started the Steelers' fourth and final preseason game at Carolina and played with and against first-team players for the first time.

His first two quarters of work produced zero points, zero third-down conversions (0-for-4) and one turnover in what eventually became a 34-9 loss at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

The Steelers fell to 3-1 on the preseason.

They open the regular season on Sept. 12 at Buffalo.

Rosters must be reduced from 80 to 53 by 4 p.m. on Aug. 31.

The first two possessions directed by Haskins resulted in three-and-outs.

Game action photos from the Week 3 preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium

The third ended on a first-snap turnover when Haskins tried to hit fullback Derek Watt on a play-action/bootleg pass in the right flat in the first quarter's final minute. The pass was thrown behind Watt, who reached back one-handed and deflected the ball up. It was eventually intercepted by defensive end Brian Burns and returned 2 yards to the Steelers' 25-yard line.

Haskins' first two quarters of work resulted in a 3-for-9 performance passing, for 24 yards, with one interception and a passer rating of 2.8. He also rushed three times for 6 yards.

Haskins was given the first series to start the third quarter.

The Steelers trailed 24-0 by then after the Panthers went 76 yards on five plays in 2:40 to open the second half.

The possession ended on a three-and-out.

Haskins wasn't the only player with designs on securing a roster spot or an expanded role who struggled.

Veteran running back Benny Snell carried six times for 24 yards in the first half in his preseason debut. Snell had a long run of 17 but his other five carries gained a combined 7 yards.

First-year wide receiver Mathew Sexton muffed a punt that resulted in the Panthers gaining possession at the Steelers' 15 with 9:01 left in the second quarter.

And rookie safety Tre Norwood, playing slot-cornerback for the first time this preseason, was unable to get to a wide receiver-screen on what became a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sam Darnold to wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. two plays after the Sexton muff. Kicker Ryan Santoso's extra point gave Carolina a 10-0 lead with 8:24 left in the second.

Norwood had dropped an interception while playing free safety on third-and-2 from the Panthers' 38 just prior to the muffed punt.

Carolina opened the scoring with 43 seconds left in the opening quarter on a 52-yard field goal by Santoso at the end of a seven-play, 31-yard drive in 4:05.

The Panthers achieved the 17-0 lead they took to the locker room at halftime on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Darnold to wide receiver Robbie Anderson and a Santoso conversion 24 seconds before the break.

Josh Dobbs relieved Haskins at quarterback on the Steelers' second possession of the second half.

He directed a 10-play, 50-yard drive in 5:19 that finally got the Steelers on the scoreboard thanks to a 52-yard field goal by kicker Chris Boswell with 1:38 left in the third. Dobbs' 12-yard scramble on third-and-8 from the Steelers' 46 extended the possession and registered the Steelers' first third-down conversion on the night.

Sexton bobbled the ball on a punt return but maintained possession at the Steelers' 15 with 6:57 left in the third.

The Panthers scored the touchdown that produced a 31-3 lead on a 24-yard run by quarterback Will Grier with 11:26 left in the fourth quarter.

Haskins came back into the game with 7:52 remaining following a punt (Dobbs had spent some time on the sideline in the injury tent during the Panthers' previous possession and headed to the locker room shortly thereafter).

A fumble by running back Tony Brooks-James on Haskins' second snap following his re-entry resulted in a Carolina recovery at the Steelers' 27.

The Panthers turned the turnover, the Steelers' third of the night, into a 27-yard field goal by Santoso with 3:22 left.

Haskins responded by going 5-for-5 passing for 75 yards on a six-play, 75-yard drive in 2:25 for the Steelers' first touchdown, a 22-yard pass to wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud.

Boswell's extra point was no good.