COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It's heads. Panthers elect to receive the opening kickoff.
7:14 p.m. – What Went Right: After a penalty on the opening kickoff, the Panthers began their first offensive possession at their own 10-yard line, and they moved directly down the field and across the 50-yard line into Steelers territory. Kyle Allen converted the first third down with an 11-yard completion to WR DeAndrew White, and then he followed that up with a 21-yard catch-and-run to Reggie Bonnafon, and then a 13-yard scramble. The drive eventually stalled, and Joey Slye lined up to attempt a 48-yard field goal. Ulysees Gilbert got good penetration and blocked the kick.
7:26 p.m. – What Went Right: With Josh Dobbs taking the first turn at quarterback, the Steelers went three-and-out on their opening possession, and the Panthers took the ball following the punt and again began moving down the field. Will Grier completed a pass to DeAndrew Wright, who turned it into a 54-yard gain to begin the possession. The Panthers moved the ball inside the Steelers 10-yard line when OLB Jayrone Elliott made a big play. Elliott got around OT Kofi Amichia and knocked the ball out of Grier’s throwing hand, he scooped up the bouncing ball and raced 88 yards for a touchdown. The sack-strip-score gave the Steelers a 7-0 lead.
FIRST QUARTER: Steelers 7, Panthers 0
7:45 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Panthers sliced into the Steelers lead and again moved the ball seemingly easily at the start of the drive. But as had been the case to this point in the game, things unraveled for the Carolina offense to slow down the march. This time, it was a holding penalty, followed by a shared sack by Sutton Smith and Isaiah Buggs. That brought on Joey Slye for a 59-yard field goal attempt, which he drilled with plenty of leg to spare. The Steelers lead was cut to 7-3 after the 13-play, 38-yard drive that ate up 6:50 of game time.
8:14 – What Went Wrong: The Steelers were doing a nice job of moving the football with Mason Rudolph taking over at quarterback. Rudolph completed 10-yard passes to Benny Snell and Eli Rogers, and then he converted a third down with a pass to Diontae Johnson, who made a nice catch along the sideline for a 12-yard gain. But with a first down at the 22-yard line, the Steelers were flagged three straight times for holding – on Jerald Hawkins, Zach Banner, and then Derwin Gray. The third was declined, and the Steelers eventually tried to settle for a 47-yard field goal, but Matthew Wright’s kick was wide right with 1:55 remaining in the first half.
8:16 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Following the missed field goal, it took Carolina just 43 second of game time to take the lead, 10-7, with the touchdown coming on a 34-yard pass from Will Grier to Aldrick Robinson. The drive spanned 63 yards in five plays and gave the Panthers a 10-7 lead with 1:12 left in the first half.
8:25 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers tied the game, 10-10, with their own 43-second drive that ended with a 49-yard field goal by Matthew Wright. The big play was the first play – a 44-yard completion to Johnny Holton. It was 10-10 with 29 seconds left in the first half.
8:29 p.m. – What Went Right: On Carolina’s first offensive play following the tying field goal, Cam Sutton recorded the Steelers’ first interception of the season, and he returned the ball to the Carolina 31-yard line. On the next play, Mason Rudolph threw a perfect pass to Johnny Holton down the right sideline for a touchdown and a 16-10 lead. When Matthew Wright missed the PAT, the Steelers took a 16-10 lead into the locker room at halftime.
HALFTIME: Steelers 16, Panthers 10
8:48 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers took the second half kickoff at their own 25-yard line following the touchback, and then disaster struck. Benny Snell lost a combined 5 yards on two running plays, and then on third down, Derwin Gray was beat by Marquis Haynes, who executed the sack-strip on Devlin Hodges, but Jerald Hawkins recovered the fumble at the 3-yard line. Jordan Berry bailed the Steelers out, because after his punt and a 10-yard penalty on Carolina, the Panthers started their first offensive series of the half at their own 30-yard line.
9:10 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers came into this preseason finale with no interceptions, but when Marcelis Branch picked off Taylor Heinicke late in the third quarter they had two. Branch returned the interception 15 yards to give the Steelers the ball at the Carolina 38-yard line.
9:35 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Panthers drove 97 yards in 10 plays in 4:52 of game time to take the lead on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Heinicke to Jordan Scarlett. There were two roughing penalties called on the Steelers defense, and the Panthers converted a third-and-9 with a 16-yard catch-and-run by Marcus Baugh. The Panther led with 8:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
9:50 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It started when Devlin Hodges was intercepted by Jordan Kunasyzk to give the Panthers possession in Steelers territory. Carolina then extended its lead to 25-16 on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Heinicke to Temarrick Hemingway and a two-point conversion pass to Elijah Holyfield. There was 4:32 remaining in the fourth quarter.
10:03 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers cut in to the lead, but not by as much as it seemed they might be able to when they had moved to a first down at the Panthers 17-yard line. But from there Garrett Brumfield was flagged for holding, Devlin Hodges scrambled for 3 yards, and then he threw two incomplete passes. Matthew Wright’s 42-yard field goal cut Carolina’s lead to 25-19 with 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
FINAL SCORE: Panthers 25, Steelers 19