Carolina Panthers stumble vs. Steelers, 37-19


The Carolina Panthers haven’t been 3-0 since the 2003 Super Bowl season, and were on the cusp of breaking improving to 3-0 in the early part of the 2014 season.

That’s a milestone that will just have to wait.

The Pittsburgh Steelers came in to Bank of America Stadium and embarrassed the home team, handing them their first loss in Charlotte since the first week of last season, in a game that saw nothing go right for the Panthers.

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  • The first half was a defensive stalemate that saw the kickers take center stage, as Graham Gano put up the first points for the Panthers before Pittsburgh took a 9-3 lead going into halftime with three kicks of their own.

    The second half, however, was a completely different story.

    Carolina got the ball to start the third quarter, and things looked fine until a fumble inside their own redzone set up Ben Roethlisberger and company up for the first touchdown of the game.

    The Panthers responded with another field goal to make it 16-6, but Roethlisberger found Brown again for a score after a six play, 80-yard drive that made it a 23-6 contest.

    As fans piled out of the stadium, Carolina had one last gasp offense early in the fourth quarter when Cam Newton found Greg Olsen for a 37-yard touchdown pass, making it just a 10 point game.

    But it was all downhill from there, the Steelers kept pushing on offense and the usually defiant Panther defense was left in the dust. In addition, the Pittsburgh defense also stepped up, getting to Newton early and often.

    At one point it looked like he was seriously hurt, as he was gimping around the field in the latter part of the game.

    Meanwhile Pittsburgh took advantage of Carolina mistakes, including a mishandled punt by Philly Brown that landed in the endzone, with the Steelers recovering and taking a 30-13 lead, seemingly putting the proverbial nail in the coffin.

    It was a play that made no one happy, especially Greg Olsen.

    The Steelers kept on coming as time ticked away, scoring on a 98-yard drive on the legs of LeGarrette Blount to send the home crowd packing.

    Despite it being a three-possession game, Carolina would not go down silently. Kelvin Benjamin helped with the effort, with a touchdown from Derek Anderson that resulted in the final score of 37-19, in Pittsburgh’s favor.

    Benjamin had a game-high 115 yards receiving along with his touchdown catch.

    Newton, despite clearly being hurt in some capacity, finished with 250 yards passing and the touchdown throw to Olsen.

    The Panthers also found themselves depleted at the running back position, and it showed as they gained only 42 yards in comparison to the Steelers’ 264 yards on the ground on the duo of Blount and Le’Veon Bell.

    Being held to less than 100 yards, combined with Jonathan Stewart going down with a contusion during the game which left the position solely on the shoulders of Mike Tolbert, made things even worse for the Carolina backfield.

    If one thing is for certain, it’s that the now 2-1 Panthers have much work to do before a trip to visit Steve Smith and Baltimore next week.

    If tonight is any indication, this team might not be ready to leave “blood and guts everywhere” next Sunday.