The Steelers entered Thursday’s game ranked sixth in the league in rushing defense.
There was no evidence of that against the Panthers.
Carolina marched right down the field for a touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead on the Steelers, with running back Christian McCaffrey doing most of the work. But the lead didn’t last long.
McCaffrey ran five times for 40 yards, converted a fourth-and-1, and caught a 20-yard touchdown pass to dominate the early stats.
Yes, that’s six touches on their first nine plays, the kind of workhorse production they’re coming to count on from the second-year back.
The Steelers only needed one play to tie it, with Ben Roethlisberger hitting JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 75-yard touchdown. It was an 11-second response to a methodical drive, setting the stage for an entertaining matchup.