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Steelers fall to Panthers 18-6 in preseason finale as they now turn their attention to the regular season

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their final preseason game of 2016 to the Carolina Panthers, and they now turn their attention to their Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Charlotte, NC for the final preseason game of 2016 to play the Carolina Panthers. What usually would be a star studded affair wasn't quite as glamorous without Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and company. Despite most feeling this preseason finale is meaningless, there was a large group of players still fighting for a spot on the team's 53-man roster.

After a 30-minute weather delay pushed the kickoff to nearly 8:00 p.m. EDT, the Panthers eventually received the opening kickoff to get the play underway. After exchanging punts to begin the game, the Panthers were able to muster a field goal drive to take a 3-0 lead after the first quarter of play.

The Panthers continued their assault on the Steelers defense on the ground to start the second quarter, and they turned a nice drive into another Graham Gano field goal to add to their lead. Midway through the 2nd quarter the Panthers led 6-0, and the Steelers had only accumulated one first down to that point in the game. The Steelers offense continued to struggle with both Landry Jones and Bryn Renner at the helm, and Joe Webb would lead Carolina to more points with another Gano field goal to make the score 9-0.

The Steelers poor offensive performance didn't stop there, and gave the Panthers the football with plenty of time left in the half to move into Gano's range for a 4th field goal. Heading into halftime Carolina led the game 12-0.

As the second half started, it was more of the same for both the Panthers and Steelers. Pittsburgh failed to do anything offensively, while Carolina continued running the football on the Pittsburgh defense. After a botched fair catch by Demarcus Ayers, the ball deflected off linebacker Steven Johnson and was recovered by Carolina; however, the Panthers were unable to score the first touchdown of the game and settled for yet another Gano field goal to extend their lead 15-0.

Graham Gano missed his 6th attempt, and Daryl Richardson led the Steelers down the field and eventually to their first points of the game. Richardson scored a one-yard touchdown, but the Steelers failed to convert the 2-point conversion cutting into Carolina's lead, 15-6.

Gano would add yet another field goal to make the final score of the game 18-6. The loss moves the Steelers record to 1-3 in the preseason as they now prepare for their Week 1 game against Washington on Monday Night Football.