The first half was about what you would expect with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ backups going against the Carolina Panthers’ starting units. The Dwayne Haskins led offense was abysmal with very few successful plays on the night. Special teams was also a dud (outside the punting) as Matthew Sexton fumbled a punt for a turnover that led to the first touchdown of the night.
The defense was the lone bright spot, as they held strong where it counted in the redzone for the most part. They definitely allowed a lot of yardage, but the strong play of Jamir Jones, Chris Wormley, James Pierre, Isaiahh Loudermilk and Marcus Allen stood out when it counted.
The Panthers will receive at the half and the rest of the game should feel a little better as the backups for both teams duke it out to state their final case for either making their current roster, or making a roster somewhere else in the league.
And Dwayne Haskins has a *checks notes* 2.8 passer rating after one half of play.
Gilbert III hit the receiver and jarred the ball loose, but somehow Tremble came down with the reception. The Panthers running back went right up the middle through a wide open hole for the touchdown. 24-0 Panthers.
Mike Tomlin was clearly not satisfied with what he saw from Dwayne Haskins in the first half which unfortunately comes at the expense of Josh Dobbs’ playing time.
A couple positive plays there, but they failed to convert on 3rd down again intended for Kalen Ballage.
The Steelers continue to rotate the punters and this time Jordan Berry with an uninspired punt, 39 yards to the Panthers 27.
Marcus Allen has a leg injury and will not return. Ulysees Gilbert III replaced him.
The Panthers punter got a nice bounce and it landed at the one yard line.
The Panthers gunner had gone into the endzone first, so it ended up being a touchback.
Josh Dobbs is taking over. That could have been the last snap we see from Dwayne Haskins this year (or possibly ever as a member of the Steelers).
Dobbs took a deep shot along the left sideline, but it was way overthrown. Pressley Harvin gets this punt opportunity. It went for 43 yards. Not bad, not great.
Shakur Brown is now in the slot as the nickel corner. Checking in this late is not a great sign for the UDFA’s chances on the 53.
Matthew Sexton muffed a punt once again, this time he recovered, but clearly he is not going to be making the roster.
Chris Boswell puts the Steelers on the board. 24-3 Panthers.
END OF THIRD QUARTER. 24-3 PANTHERS.
Mike Tomlin is clearly not enthused with what’s going on as he put Isaiah Buggs and Chris Wormley back on the defensive line.
Chris Wormley talked about being in a bad place last preseason which led to subpar play in 2020. Well, whatever that was he appears to be over it as he is a wrecking crew out there right now. Good, because Stephon Tuitt’s status is unclear and Wormley might have to start in his place.
Will Grier got into the open field with the ball in his hands and juked out a Steelers defender for a touchdown. 31-3 Panthers.
A nice sack by Isaiahh Loudermilk. He now has a handful of impactful plays on the night. Then the next play a forced fumble by
Lamont Wade recovered by Buddy Johnson. It was initially called down on the field, but it was challenged by Mike Tomlin and will almost certainly be reversed.
If so, Dwayne Haskins will come back out to get the chance in enemy territory as Josh Dobbs appears to be hurting a bit on the sideline.
Nevermind, apparently Ulysees Gilbert touched the ball while out of bounds?
After the punt, Haskins has a shot to lead a long drive to redeem his nice. Tony Brooks-James fumbled the next play, so nevermind once again.
Dwayne Haskins managed to work his way up to a 15.3 passer rating on the night. A marked improvement from the 2.8 in the first half.
The Panthers got into field goal range and it was good. 34-3 Panthers.
At the 2:00 warning, Benny Snell is back in the game. Mike Tomlin is looking for someone to make something happen.
I knew that 34-3 sounded (and felt) familiar to me. In 2016 the Steelers went to Philadelphia and lost to the Eagles by that same score. I happened to be at that game.
Dwayne Haskins with three completions in a row? Where was this 3 hours ago. Man, this has been a long game. Make that a 4th completion in a row and this time a touchdown to Ray-Ray McCloud. The PAT is no good. 34-9 Panthers.
FINAL SCORE 34-9 PANTHERS.