The second half started with the Steelers getting the football, and doing what they’ve done the entire game to this point. Roethlisberger continued to be money on third downs, hitting Switzer and Smith-Schuster for key conversions, and capped the drive off with a touchdown pass to Vance McDonald.
The Boswell point after was good, giving the Steelers a 38-14 lead with 8 minutes left in the third quarter.
Pittsburgh’s defense continued to harass Newton every time he dropped back to pass, and a big sack by Bud Dupree resulted in another three-and-out. When the Steelers’ offense had the football, they did one thing with it — add to their lead. This drive was no different. Roethlisberger continued to make several key third down completions, but the most controversial play happened on a 3rd and 8 when Roethlisberger scrambled for the first down, and while sliding Justin Reid hit him high with his shoulder. Reid was ejected from the game, and two plays later Roethlisberger hit Jesse James for his 4th touchdown pass of the night to make the score 45-14.
After a fumble on the Panther’s kickoff return, the Steelers had the football at the 9-yard line at the end of the third quarter.