PITTSBURGH — The Steelers remained warmer than a blast furnace, extending their successful streak to 5 video games Thursday night time via mashing the Panthers — they entered the sport on a three-game win streak of their very own — 52-21.

Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger finished 22 of 25 throws for 328 yards and 5 touchdowns to 5 other receivers. He completed an excellent 158.Three passer ranking for the fourth time in his 15-year profession.

Absolute best sport ever, Ben?

“Neatly, in case you’re taking a look at stats — most probably,” Roethlisberger mentioned. “However, you already know what? Guys make performs. I’m simplest gonna be as excellent because the linemen are and the blokes making the performs for me.”

Dressed in their Colour Rush “Darkish Knight” uniforms — you can recall Batman and Bane as soon as tore up Heinz Box — the Steelers (6-2-1) wanted little time to show the lighting out at the Panthers even after Carolina started the sport via chopping throughout the Pittsburgh protection for 75 yards and a landing at the opening power.

Pittsburgh simply spoke back via scoring 24 consecutive issues, together with two touchdowns at the two performs after the Panthers’ preliminary ownership: a 75-yard landing move from Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster adopted via linebacker Vince Williams’ 17-yard landing off a Cam Newton interception at the next snap.

The victory prolonged the Steelers’ AFC North lead over Cincinnati (Five-Three) to a complete sport, whilst giving them the fourth-best file within the convention heading into the weekend. The Panthers (6-Three) fell 1½ video games in the back of the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints, and may quickly face a problem from in the back of via the sizzling Atlanta Falcons.

“It’s a excellent feeling to (beat) a excellent soccer group,” mentioned Roethlisberger.

3 different issues we discovered:

1. This was once the primary time in Pittsburgh’s sizzling streak that RB James Conner did not rush for no less than 100 yards (65 yards, TD) — most commonly as a result of he did not wish to, and in addition as a result of he was once evaluated for a concussion in the second one part. Large Ben unfold the wealth amongst his guns exceptionally smartly — together with a 53-yard landing move to Antonio Brown, who by some means wound up single-covered via Carolina rookie CB Donte Jackson, that put the Steelers up 31-14 going into the part. After all, the Pittsburgh offense might be altered significantly within the coming days with all-pro RB Le’Veon Bell anticipated to rejoin the group via Tuesday’s time limit to record if he needs to play this season.

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2. Newton and Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey seemed poised to have their approach with the Steelers in accordance with the preliminary march. McCaffrey racked up 60 of the 75 yards, capping it off with a 20-yard scoring move from Newton, who is having a marketing campaign drawing near his 2015 MVP effort. However the Pittsburgh protection has been resurgent all over the group’s successful streak and briefly buckled down, beginning with Williams’ select six, and saved the Panthers’ megastar duo in large part in test (even though McCaffrey did additionally ranking a beauty TD in the second one quarter, he simplest totaled 78 yards after his preliminary landing). The Steelers’ particular groups additionally were given into the act. Ok Chris Boswell drilling a 50-yard box purpose, and the protection unit compelled a Curtis Samuel fumble on a kickoff on the finish of the 3rd quarter that arrange some other TD to start out the general duration. Base line: Dominant group effort close to the confluence of the 3 Rivers.

Three. Now not an overly memorable night time for Pittsburgh local, Pitt and Carnegie Mellon alum and previous Steelers minority proprietor David Tepper, who purchased the Panthers from disgraced predecessor Jerry Richardson previous this 12 months and roamed the sideline prior to kickoff. Nonetheless, he is were given a excellent group that merely were given steamrolled on an off night time. Alternatively the Panthers do wish to learn to be successful at the highway given they have by no means gained a playoff sport clear of Charlotte within the Cam Newton technology. They are Five-Zero at Financial institution of The usa Stadium this 12 months, however simply 1-Three clear of it.

***

Practice USA TODAY Sports activities’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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