So, the Pittsburgh Steelers are certainly for real. After their 52-21 win over the Panthers Thursday night, it’s impossible to think otherwise. After their slow start to the season (1-2-1), they’ve won five in a row. Who needs Le’Veon Bell, right? But seriously, if you’re the Panthers, suddenly you’re asking yourself a ton of questions.
Thursday night, the Panthers got things going pretty early. They made their first drive of the game count, taking a quick 7-0 lead. But Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers would answer right away. And in grand fashion, too, with this 75-yard touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster. On their first play from scrimmage, no less.
— NFL (@NFL) November 9, 2018
It didn’t get much better for the Panthers from there. A quick pick-six put the Steelers up 14-7, and they didn’t look back. Roethlisberger put up a perfect passer rating while completing 88% of his passes (22-of-25) for 328 yards and five touchdowns. James Conner added 5.0 yards per carry on the ground en route to 65 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Brown had another big game, catching all six of his targets for 96 yards and a touchdown.
The Steelers are rolling, improving to 6-2-1 tonight. Meanwhile, the Panthers fall to 6-3. Their playoff chances still look good, but they’ll need some help to get back into the division title picture with the Saints (7-1). Up next, Pittsburgh travels to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars while the Panthers travel to Detroit. Both are winnable games.
But the Panthers really need to bounce back.