When most fans think of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers they likely think of one thing — NFL Preseason football. To be more specific, NFL Preseason finale football. Nonetheless, with the AFC North and NFC South paired up in 2022, the two will face off when the games actually count.
The game pits the 5-8 Steelers vs. the 5-8 Panthers in Charlotte, NC. There was no concern about the NFL snagging this game and moving it into primetime. But for these two teams, there is certainly a lot on the line. The Panthers are playing tough for interim head coach Steve Wilks, and are playing good football as of late. On top of that, the Panthers currently hold the 9th projected draft slot in the 2023 NFL Draft.
For the Steelers, coming off the 16-14 dud loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14, they find themselves wondering who their quarterback will be when the team hops on a plane to travel to North Carolina. With Kenny Pickett in the NFL’s concussion protocol, it is unsure if the quarterback will be Mitch Trubisky, the likely recipient of the position, or Mason Rudolph, who has yet to even dress for a game this season.
The Panthers, even at 5-8, find themselves only one game back in the dreadful NFC South division. So, they still have a lot to play for. On the flip side, the Steelers AFC North hopes are shot, and their playoff dreams are hanging by a proverbial thread. If the Steelers have any hopes of making the playoff, they’ll have to win out. And in doing so, they’ll have to start their winning ways with a road win against the Panthers.
Let the games begin...