The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Charlotte, NC with a tremendous amount of talk surrounding the team with acquisitions of Vance McDonald and Joe Haden during the week. However, the team still had to complete their preseason against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4, and the chance to finish the preseason 3-1.
Landry Jones got the start at quarterback for Pittsburgh, and he came out firing, but eventually gave way to Jordan Berry after a failed first down. It was then when the Steelers defense went to work. The first series couldn’t have gone better, and ended in Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt meeting at Derek Anderson causing an incomplete pass, and a Panthers punt.
The poor quarterback play continued as Jones had his arm hit while throwing, and the pass was intercepted by the Panthers to set them up deep inside Pittsburgh territory. This resulted in the first score of the game in the form of a Fozzy Whitaker touchdown run. After the point-after, the Panthers took an early 7-0 lead.
The ensuing drive featured Terrell Watson, and he impressed with his ability to run both in between the tackles, outside the tackles and even receiving; however, the drive stalled inside Panthers territory and resulted in a Chris Boswell field goal. The kick cut into the Carolina lead, 7-3.
With Joshua Dobbs under center, he attacked the Panthers defense early. A deep pass to Justin Hunter on the first offensive play of the 2nd quarter equated in a beautiful 58-yard touchdown. After the Boswell point-after, the Steelers took the lead 10-7.
Defense would rule the remainder of the second quarter as both punters got plenty of work, but the Panthers would add their own big play as Joe Webb orchestrated a touchdown drive and capped it off with a touchdown pass to give the Panthers a 14-10 lead heading into halftime.
The Panthers received the opening kickoff to start the second half, but their initial possession was short lived as Joe Webb was picked off by Malik Golden to give Pittsburgh the football on the Carolina 14-yard line. Nonetheless, in typical fourth preseason game fashion, the Steelers found a way to not get points off the turnover due to a failed fourth-and-one inside the 5-yard line.
Carolina, aided by several Pittsburgh penalties, moved the ball into Graham Gano’s field goal range, but the veteran’s kick hit the upright, giving the ball back to the black and gold. After failing to do anything with the ball, again, the third quarter mercifully came to a close with the Steelers still trailing the Panthers 14-10.
Despite the Steelers defense forcing two more turnovers in the second half, the third, and fourth, team offense struggled to move the ball. Dobbs and the offense took over at their own 44-yard line with a chance to take the lead, yet it was more of the same, and Jordan Berry’s heavy workload night continued.
However, as bad as the offense was at times Thursday, Joshua Dobbs orchestrated a tremendous drive, both throwing and running, and capped it off with a scrambling touchdown run to win the game for the Steelers 17-14. A truly tremendous way to finish the preseason.
The Steelers win moved their preseason record to 3-1, and it is as the team turns the page on the preseason, they now turn their attention to the regular season which starts on September 10th at 1:00 p.m. ET when the team travels to Cleveland to play the Browns.
Stay tuned to BTSC as the team cuts their roster from 90 to 53 this weekend, and the best Steelers coverage leading up to the regular season.