The highs and lows of the Steelers matchup vs. the Carolina Panthers.
COIN TOSS: Carolina calls tails. It's heads. Steelers win the toss and defer. Carolina gets the ball first.
8:28 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Panthers took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in nine plays to take a 7-0 lead, largely behind the dual threat that Christian McCaffrey poses to a defense. McCaffrey handled the ball on six of the nine plays; he gained 40 yards on five carries and caught one pass for 20 yards and the touchdown. There was 10:29 left in the first period.
8:32 p.m. – What Went Right: It took 11 seconds and one play for the Steelers to tie the game, 7-7. Ben Roethlisberger drew cornerback James Bradberry up with a pump fake, and after throwing a perfect pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster down the left sideline, Smith-Schuster out-ran Eric Reid to complete the scoring play. With 10:18 left in the first quarter, the score was 7-7.
8:37 p.m. – What Went Right: Two plays, two Steelers touchdowns. On the kickoff following the Steelers’ first touchdown, a holding penalty on the return had the Panthers starting at their own 12-yard line. On first down, T.J. Watt got good pressure on Cam Newton, who threw the ball up for grabs rather than take a safety. But Vince Williams intercepted and ran 17 yards for the touchdown that gave the Steelers a 14-7 lead with 10:05 remaining in the first period.
8:52 p.m. – What Went Right: After forcing the Panthers offense into a three-and-out, the Steelers took over following the punt at their own 39-yard line. Eight plays later, a 2-yard run by James Conner ended a 61-yard drive and upped the Steelers lead to 21-7 with 4:35 left in the first quarter. Conner carried four times for 27 yards and caught a pass for 7 more. At the end of that drive, Ben Roethlisberger was 4-for-4 for 96 yards and a touchdown.
9:11 p.m. – What Went Right: One way of looking at it was the Steelers had to settle for a field goal. The other way of looking at it was Chris Boswell nailed the 50-yard attempt to give the team a 24-7 lead with 9:46 remaining in the second quarter. The big play on the nine-play, 60-yard scoring rive was a 34-yard completion to Antonio Brown that converted a third-and-3.
9:25 p.m. – What Went Wrong: A 73-yard drive that took nine plays and ate up 4:42 of game time ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Christian McCaffrey that cut the Steelers lead to 24-14 with 5:04 remaining in the second quarter. Cam Newton completed 7-for-7 for 67 yards and the touchdown on the drive.
9:33 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers struck quickly to restore their lead to 17 points – 31-14 – with a four-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 53-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown, who beat Donte Jackson down the right sideline. Ben Roethlisberger converted a third-and-6 with an 18-yard pass to Ryan Switzer.
HALFTIME: Steelers 31, Panthers 14
10:09 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers opened the second half the same way they opened the first – with a 75-yard touchdown drive, but this one took 12 plays. Ben Roethlisberger converted an opening third down with a 13-yard completion to Ryan Switzer, and from there the Steelers rolled all the way down the field. James Conner carried three times for 18 yards, and Vance McDonald caught two passes, the second in the back of the end zone for the 12-yard touchdown. With 8:18 left in the third quarter, the Steelers led, 38-14.
10:28 p.m. – What Went Right: Jesse James became the sixth Steelers player to score a touchdown when he hauled in an 8-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 18 seconds left in the third quarter. The play capped an 11-play, 65-yard drive that upped the Steelers lead to 45-14. At one point, Ben Roethlisberger scrambled 18 yards for a first down and got hit by safety Eric Reid as he was sliding to the ground. Reid drew a personal foul penalty and was ejected. Two plays later, Roethlisberger passed to James for the 8-yard touchdown.
10:32 p.m. – What Went Right: On the ensuing kickoff, Rosie Nix forced a fumble that Anthony Chickillo recovered on the Panthers 9-yard line. Two plays later, Ben Roethlisberger dumped off a screen pass to Jaylen Samuels, who vaulted into the end zone for his first NFL touchdown and a 52-14 Steelers lead with 14:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.
FINAL SCORE: Steelers 52, Panthers 21