The Pittsburgh Steelers closed out their 2014 preseason by getting shut-out at home by the Carolina Panthers 10-0 in a game that featured a lot of sloppy play by both teams.
The Panthers got on the scoreboard early as they drove 62 yards on 14 plays against the Steelers starting defense on the opening possession of the game that resulted in a 33 yard field goal by kicker Graham Gano.
Steelers third-string quarterback Landry Jones started the game but failed to move the offense effectively in the first half despite completing 10 of 13 passes for 69 yards. Getting sacked three times in the first half didn’t help matters and one of them almost resulted in a safety.
Jones would go on to play the opening possession of the second half and finished 14-of-18 for 97 yards before giving way to rookie undrafted free agent quarterback Brendon Kay.
Kay struggled in his first action of the preseason as well as he finished 5-of-10 for 32 yards. Like Jones, he was also sacked three times.
The Panthers closed out the scoring in the game with a two-yard touchdown run by running back Fozzy Whittaker with 6:24 left in the third quarter. That touchdown came just one play after Panthers quarterback Joe Webb connected with wide receiver Corey Brown on a 53-yard pass down the right side of the field on first down. Brown had beaten Steelers cornerback Antwon Blake deep on the play.
Veteran wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey continued his strong push for a spot on the Steelers final 53 man roster as he caught six passes for 44 yards in the loss. The former first-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders also played quite a bit Thursday night on special teams, but failed to register a tackle.
Steelers running back Josh Harris led the team in rushing with 41 yards on six carries and Blake led the team in tackles with eight of them.
Thanks to the lack of offense, Steelers punter Brad Wing got a lot of work in Thursday night as he punted nine times for a 40.1 average and a 39.6 net average.
The last time the Steelers were shut-out during the preseason was in 1992 when they lost 26-0 to the New Orleans Saints on the road. They finished the 2014 preseason with a 1-3 record with their lone win coming against the Buffalo Bills.
The Steelers will now need to trim their roster down to 53 players by 4 p.m. Tuesday. They will open the 2014 regular season a week from Sunday at Heinz Field against the Cleveland Browns.