The Panthers opened with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to start things off on Thursday. Pittsburgh responded with consecutive touchdown drives in 13 seconds early in the first, one off of a 75-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster with 10:18 remaining and the second coming just seconds later on a defensive score from linebacker Vince Williams, who intercepted Cam Newton and took it to the end zone to give the Steelers an early 14-7 lead.
The two team's tallied a combined 21 points in the first five minutes of play, setting the tone for a wildly high-scoring affair from the Steelers offense.
Pittsburgh finished the first quarter with a 61-yard scoring drive, capped by second-year running back James Conner's 69th touchdown of the season to give his team a 21-7 lead.
Before the Steelers pulled away, the Panthers kept the score close on a 25-yard pass from Newton to Christian McCaffrey, cutting the deficit to 24-14. Newton struggled to get things going offensively under constant pressure from Steelers linebacker TJ Watt, who forced the wobbly throw from Newton resulted in Williams' first-quarter TD and forced a turnover to close the second.
Pittsburgh started the second half as strong as they finished the first. A pair of touchdowns in the third brought the Steelers' lead to 45-14, just as the Panthers secondary took a hit after safety Eric Reid was ejected for targeting on a hit to Roethlisberger's helmet with 1:15 remaining in the third. Roethlisberger returned under center and immediately found Jesse James for the team's second of two third-quarter touchdowns.
The seventh touchdown to Jaylen Samuels started the fourth and widened Pittsburgh's lead to 38 points. Samuels was the sixth Steelers player Roethlisberger connected with for a touchdown during Thursday's game, finding a new man for each score against a struggling Carolina defense.
McCaffrey ran for Carolina's third touchdown of the game with just 5:35 remaining, but the Panthers efforts weren't enough to overcome the enormous lead amassed by a Roethlisberger-led offense. The veteran QB ended the night completing 22-of-25 attempts for 328 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.
Pittsburgh's defense finished with five sacks on Newton, who also threw an interception.