The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the second half with a 9-3 lead on the strength of three Shaun Suisham field goals. A Ben Roethlisberger touchdown pass was wiped off when the officials ruled that Markus Wheaton had stepped out of bounds before making the catch. On the plus side, the defense has done well defending the Carolina Panthers offense after giving up a field goal on the opening drive.
On first down, Jonathan Stewart was able to break a couple tackles to break off a 15-yard run. The Panthers were flagged for holding on the next play. Cortez Allen was flagged for illegal contact for an automatic first down. The Panthers, however, the flagged for holding again.
From the 20, Cam Newton scrambled to escape pressure for a few yards. On second and 15, pressure from Brett Keisel forced an incompletion. On third down, Newton fumbled and the Steelers recovered for their first turnover of the season. Jarvis Jones backed into Newton’s arm.
Taking over at the 17, Le’Veon Bell carried for two yards on first down. On second and eight, he got the call again off the left side for four yards. Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller failed to connect in the end zone, resulting in yet another field goal instead, but the Panthers jumped offside on the attempt, resulting in a first down. From the seven, Roethlisberger pump faked left, hung on, and then unleashed a fade to Antonio Brown for a touchdown.
Two quick passes resulted in afirst down for the Panthers. On third down, Ike Taylor was injured on a pass to Kelvin Benjamin. He left the field wit ha cast on his arm. Back to football, Stewart converted the first down, but proceeded to limp off the field.
Sean Spence made the stop on first down near midfield. On second and nine, Allen was flagged again for illegal contact. Allen made the stop on Benjamin up high on the next play for five yards, and the run defense held to force a third and four. Antwon Blake was beaten on third down for the conversion.
Blake was able to defend a floater to Benjamin in the end zone on first down. On second and 10, miscommunication on a screen resulted in an incompletion. Newton’s pass was too hot for Jason Avant on third down and the Panthers had to settle for a field goal, cutting the score to 16-6.
Matt Spaeth was flagged for pass interference on first down for an illegal pick. From the 10, Bell was tackled for a loss on a screen for three yards. On second and over 20, Bell followed a pulling David DeCastro 81 yards. LeGarrette Blount carried for three yards, and Roethlisberger found Brown on the sideline down to the one for a first and goal. Michael Palmer was flagged for pass interference while also dropping a touchdown pass, resulting in a first and goal from the 11.
Bell picked up four yards on first down to the seven. Roethlisberger found Brown at the one, who backed into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. He now has 10 receptions for 90 yards with two touchdowns.
Newton flipped a pass over the top to Benjamin to cross midfield. Arthur Moats, the replacement for Jones, sacked Newton two played later, and the Panthers faced third and 15 to start the fourth quarter. Though he had lots of time on third down, the Steelers still stopped the pass short of the first down, but the Panthers elected to for for it on fourth and two. Newton converted to Benjamin. Allen was beaten by the tight end for 37 yards on the next play for a touchdown to bring the score to 23-13.
Bell was stopped for no gain on first down after the Panthers’ score. On second down, he took a flip for about four yards. Roethlisberger found Wheaton on third down, but it was short of the first down. Brad Wing sent a punt deep, and the Panthers fumbled the ball twice, with Robert Golden eventually recovering the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
Jason Worilds was flagged for roughing the passer after going low on Newton on the Panthers’ first play. From the 35, Avant caught a four-yard reception. On third and six, Newton was clobbered by Heyward for an incompletion. The Panthers downed the ensuing punt on the one.
From the one, Bell carried for four yards combined on first and second down. On third and six, Roethlisberger found Wheaton for eight yards and a new set of downs. Blount was smacked for a loss of three on the next play. Miller escaped the defender for 30 yards, despite an illegal contact penalty. Blount escaped on the following play for 51 yards to set up first and goal. From the nine, Bell picked up one yard. Blount smashed through a couple defenders from seven yards out for a touchdown, and the Steelers went up 37-13.
Derek Anderson came in to finish up the game. After a first down, the Panthers faced a third and nine, but a nice throw from the reserve quarterback found his slot receiver for a good gain down to the Steelers 35. Anderson found Benjamin against Blake with an over the shoulder catch for the touchdown. William Gay broke up the two-point conversion attempt.
Blount broke off a 17-yard run on first down to close in on 100 yards rushing. Two more rushes left him a yard shy of the mark. He burst through the middle on the following play for 19 yards to go over the mark, allowing the Steelers to end the game with a pair of kneeldowns.