Steelers stumble in preseason finale

Carolina Panthers' Brenton Bersin (11) runs after a catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. The Panthers won 18-6. (AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Running back Cameron Artis-Payne made a case for more playing time, rushing for 77 yards on 18 carries, and Graham Gano kicked six field goals as the Carolina Panthers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 18-6 on Thursday night in the final preseason game for both teams.

Both teams rested their starters.

Artis-Payne, a second-year player from Auburn who is third on the depth chart behind Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker, showed a strong burst and toughness. He also caught two passes for 18 yards, making a nifty cutback on one play to elude a defender and pick up a first down.

“The offense played good as a whole,” Artis-Payne said. “We need to capitalize on getting good field position” and score touchdowns.

Joe Webb started and played the entire game for the Panthers at quarterback.

Landry Jones was ineffective for the Steelers, completing 4 of 5 passes for 29 yards but managing just one first down in four possessions. He was relieved by Bryn Renner, who didn’t lead a scoring drive until the fourth quarter.

“To see the same energy (from the backups), the same intensity and same plays being made (as the starters) it lets you know that the guys understand the standards that have been set in Carolina,” Panthers cornerback Bene Benwikere said.

Said Carolina linebacker David Mayo: “Guys were just flying around.”


Steelers: Cornerback Artie Burns, the No. 25 pick in the draft, made his preseason debut after missing the last three games with a nagging quadriceps injury. He broke up a third-down pass intended for Marcus Lucas in the end zone to save a touchdown. He was a little upset at himself he didn’t come up with an interception.


Steelers: Running back Daryl Richardson got the best of Fitzgerald Toussaint, rushing nine times for 45 yards and a touchdown.


Steelers: Linebackers Travis Feeney (possible concussion), Anthony Chickillo (right foot) and defensive end Ricardo Mathews (neck) left early.


Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play, meaning he will head into the regular season having played only two possessions – although both of those resulted in touchdowns. League MVP Cam Newton didn’t play, either, finishing the preseason by leading 15 drives that resulted in just 13 points.