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Steelers vs. Panthers second half open thread

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A battle is brewing in Charlotte.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Ya know, that actually wasn't so bad. Pretty good, actually.

A tough defensive battle is emerging in Charlotte Sunday between the Steelers and Panthers. No more did you expect to read that sentence than I expected to write it, but that's exactly what's going on.

The Steelers, on the strength of three Shaun Suisham field goals, take a 9-3 lead into halftime, as the Steelers' pass coverage has tightened up, its pass rush has sped up and not coincidentally, it has held Carolina to 2-for-6 on third downs and three points.

Suisham hit a field goal at the end of the first half after Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly shoved wide receiver Justin Brown back to the ground after a completion with the clock running. Steelers right guard David DeCastro saw it, and shoved Kuechly, who recoiled in his best Emmanuel Sanders impression, drawing a flag.

Put simply, a bush-league tactic from one of the game's best players. Very disappointing Kuechly would not only shove Brown back to the ground in an effort to delay the Steelers' offense, but flop in a cowardly fashion after DeCastro held him accountable for it.

It was the Roger Goodell of moves.

Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell has paced a Steelers' running game that has largely dictated the game to this point. The Steelers own an impressive 19-11 time of possession advantage, including the field goal at the end of the half.