Panthers 25, Steelers 10

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two first-half touchdown receptions by Ted Ginn Jr. were enough for the Carolina Panthers to make it a winless preseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In a game with key players from both teams sitting out, the Panthers defeated the Steelers 25-10 in the preseason finale for both teams Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium.
Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers and Cam Newton of the Panthers had the night off.
Many of the other frontline players for both teams were spectators as well, making it a key audition for reserves trying to land spots on their teams with the final round of cuts coming this weekend.
The Panthers finished the preseason with a 3-1 record.
The Steelers dropped to 0-4. Pittsburgh has never made the playoffs coming off a winless preseason.
Derek Anderson threw the two touchdown passes to Ginn, then gave way by late in the second quarter to Jimmy Clausen. Anderson went 10-for-15 passes for 220 yards. Ginn made five receptions for 149 yards.
The Steelers used rookie quarterback Landry Jones the whole way, and he had a difficult time. He was intercepted three times, all in the second half, twice by Colin Jones. Landry Jones completed 16 of 35 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown.
Josh Norman and Colin Jones had third-quarter pick-offs that set up field goals. Norman also registered 10 tackles.
The second interception by Colin Jones came when Landry Jones' intended receiver slipped.
The Panthers led 17-10 at halftime as the battle of backup quarterbacks began with a flurry. Both teams scored on their first possession.
Carolina's connection between Anderson, making his first start of any sort for the Panthers, and Ginn proved to be the most prolific.
Anderson directed Carolina on a six-play, 80-yard drive on the first series, hooking up with Ginn on a 35-yard touchdown play.
Pittsburgh matched that with an eight-play possession covering 80 yards. Tight end David Paulson snatched a 13-yard touchdown pass from Landry Jones.
Ginn made moves for an 87-yard touchdown catch-and-run TD with less than five minutes remaining in the half, creating a 17-7 edge.
That gave the Panthers three scoring drives of more than 75 yards. The other one resulted in Graham Gano's 19-yard field goal.
The Steelers moved inside the Carolina 10-yard line late in the half before a penalty stalled the drive and they settled for Shaun Suisham's 37-yard field goal.
With running back Jonathan Stewart placed on the physically unable to perform list earlier in the week, it was an opportunity for young Carolina running backs to campaign for the top reserve spot behind DeAngelo Williams. Mike Tolbert was out with a hamstring ailment Thursday night, and rookie Kenjon Barner has been hobbled by an ankle injury since the third preseason game.
The Panthers managed only 51 rushing yards by halftime.
The Steelers were watching the punting competition between Drew Butler and Brian Moorman. Moorman launched a 55-yarder in the second quarter. Butler's first-half attempts went for 27 yards and 34 yards, pinning the Panthers at their 12-yard line the first time and at their 9 the next time.
Gano kicked field goals of 40 and 23 yards for the only second-half scoring until the Panthers recorded a safety when Pittsburgh rookie punt returner Reggie Dunn was tackled in the end zone.
NOTES: The Steelers open the regular season Sept. 8 at home against the Tennessee Titans.. ... Carolina's opener comes the same day at home against the Seattle Seahawks, who won last year in Charlotte. ... Steelers FB Will Johnson left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. ... A college football season opener between North Carolina and South Carolina taking place in Columbia, S.C., might have accounted for some of the empty seats for the Panthers' final preseason game.

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