Christian McCaffrey, JuJu Smith-Schuster trade big plays

AP

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.