Field Level Media
Dec 18, 2022
Najee Harris ran for a touchdown and racked up 86 yards on the ground as the Pittsburgh Steelers counted on ball-control offense and a solid defense to defeat the host Carolina Panthers 24-16 on Sunday at Charlotte, N.C.
Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who was given the starting assignment because Kenny Pickett has been in the concussion protocol, threw for 179 yards on 17-of-22 passing. Diontae Johnson caught 10 passes for 98 yards.
Harris had 24 carries as the Steelers (6-8) cling to remote playoff hopes.
Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold was 14 of 23 for 225 yards and a touchdown. An inept Carolina rushing attack managed 21 yards after posting more than 220 ground yards last week at Seattle.
The outcome dimmed the once-rising playoff aspirations of the Panthers (5-9), who entered the weekend one game out of first place in the NFC South.
Pittsburgh's 21-play drive covering 91 yards to open the third quarter consumed 11:43 and put the Steelers on top 21-7 after Trubisky's 1-yard run. The Steelers overcame a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on the march.
Carolina had an 11-play drive on its next chance, settling for Eddy Pineiro's 29-yard field goal. The Panthers stalled again on their next drive and tacked on Pineiro's 32-yard field goal with 6:15 to play, closing the gap to 21-13.
But the Steelers kept the ball for the next five minutes and 13 plays later to seal the outcome on Chris Boswell's 50-yard field goal with 1:04 remaining. Pineiro had a 52-yarder with 19 seconds left, but the Steelers recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Harris began the scoring with a 7-yard run that came at the end of a first-quarter drive of more than seven minutes.
Carolina tied the game in the opening minute of the second quarter when Darnold threw 5 yards to DJ Moore in the end zone on third down to complete an 85-yard run that took more than 6 1/2 minutes. That possession included third-down conversions of 11, 13 and 5 yards.
Then the Steelers used nearly six minutes for a touchdown drive on their next possession, with Jaylen Warren running 2 yards for the score.
Carolina safety Jeremy Chinn finished with 14 tackles. The Steelers took 68 offensive snaps compared to Carolina's 43.
--Field Level Media