PITTSBURGH — The Steelers remained hotter than a blast furnace, extending their winning disappear to 5 games Thursday night time by mashing the Panthers — they entered the sport on a 3-sport maintain halt disappear of their very hold — Fifty two-21.
Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger achieved 22 of 25 throws for 328 yards and five touchdowns to 5 rather a pair of receivers. He achieved an ideal 158.3 passer ranking for the fourth time in his 15-365 days profession.
Most sharp sport ever, Ben?
“Properly, will hold to you’re looking at stats — potentially,” Roethlisberger said. “However, you realize what? Guys ranking plays. I’m totally gonna be as factual as the linemen are and the fellows making the plays for me.”
Wearing their Coloration Flee “Darkish Knight” uniforms — you are going to steal Batman and Bane as soon as tore up Heinz Field — the Steelers (6-2-1) wished shrimp time to turn the lights out on the Panthers even after Carolina started the sport by slicing thru the Pittsburgh defense for Seventy five yards and a touchdown on the gap power.
Pittsburgh merely replied by scoring 24 consecutive functions, including two touchdowns on the 2 plays after the Panthers’ initial possession: a Seventy five-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster followed by linebacker Vince Williams’ 17-yard touchdown off a Cam Newton interception on the next snap.
The victory prolonged the Steelers’ AFC North lead over Cincinnati (5-3) to a paunchy sport, whereas giving them the fourth-simplest file within the conference heading into the weekend. The Panthers (6-3) fell 1½ games within the again of the NFC South-leading Fresh Orleans Saints, and would possibly well presumably soon face a trouble from within the again of by the scorching Atlanta Falcons.
“It’s a factual feeling to (beat) a factual football crew,” said Roethlisberger.
Three other things we discovered:
1. This become as soon as the main time in Pittsburgh’s hot disappear that RB James Conner did now not whisk for now not now not up to a hundred yards (Sixty five yards, TD) — basically because he did now not hold to, and also because he become as soon as evaluated for a concussion within the 2d half. Mountainous Ben spread the wealth amongst his weapons exceptionally smartly — including a Fifty three-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown, who by some capacity spoil up single-covered by Carolina rookie CB Donte Jackson, that place the Steelers up 31-14 going into the half. For sure, the Pittsburgh offense would possibly well presumably be altered severely within the arrival days with all-pro RB Le’Veon Bell anticipated to rejoin the crew by Tuesday’s closing date to document if he desires to play this season.
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2. Newton and Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey seemed poised to hold their plot with the Steelers in step with the initial march. McCaffrey racked up 60 of the Seventy five yards, capping it off with a 20-yard scoring pass from Newton, who’s having a marketing and marketing campaign drawing attain his 2015 MVP effort. However the Pittsburgh defense has been resurgent all over the crew’s winning disappear and speedy buckled down, starting up with Williams’ expend six, and saved the Panthers’ smartly-known person duo largely in verify (though McCaffrey did also come by a beauty TD within the 2d quarter, he totally totaled seventy eight yards after his initial touchdown). The Steelers’ particular teams also got into the act. Good ample Chris Boswell drilling a 50-yard arena impartial, and the coverage unit compelled a Curtis Samuel fumble on a kickoff on the terminate of the 1/3 quarter that standing up one more TD to begin the final period. Final analysis: Dominant crew effort attain the confluence of the Three Rivers.
3. Not a the truth is memorable night time for Pittsburgh native, Pitt and Carnegie Mellon alum and faded Steelers minority proprietor David Tepper, who supplied the Panthers from disgraced predecessor Jerry Richardson earlier this 365 days and roamed the sideline sooner than kickoff. Composed, he’s got a factual crew that merely got steamrolled on an off night time. On the opposite hand the Panthers procedure hold to study to prevail on the boulevard given they’ve never acquired a playoff sport a long way from Charlotte within the Cam Newton technology. They’re 5-zero at Bank of The US Stadium this 365 days, nonetheless factual 1-3 a long way from it.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
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