Steelers vs Panthers TNF: Pittsburgh dominates in win over Carolina - Sports Illustrated

The Steelers blew out Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, 52-21, on Thursday Night Football for their fifth straight win this season. 

The Panthers opened with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to start things off on Thursday. Pittsburgh responded with consecutive touchdown drives in 13 seconds in the first, one off of a 75-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster with 10:18 remaining and the second coming just seconds later on a defensive score from linebacker Vince Williams, who intercepted Cam Newton and took it to the end zone to give the Steelers an early 14-7 lead.

The two team's tallied a combined 21 points in the first five minutes of play, setting the tone for a wildly high-scoring affair from the Steelers offense.  

Pittsburgh finished the first quarter with a 61-yard scoring drive, capped by second-year running back James Conner's 69th touchdown of the season to give his team a 21-7 lead. 

Before the Steelers pulled away, the Panthers kept the score close on a 25-yard pass from Newton to Christian McCaffrey, cutting the deficit to 24-14. Newton struggled to get things going offensively under constant pressure from Steelers linebacker TJ Watt, who forced the wobbly throw from Newton resulted in Williams' first-quarter TD and forced a turnover to close the second. 

Pittsburgh started the second half as strong as they finished the first. A pair of touchdowns in the third brought the Steelers' lead to 45-14, just as the Panthers secondary took a hit after safety Eric Reid was ejected for targeting on a hit to Roethlisberger's helmet with 1:15 remaining in the third. Roethlisberger returned under center and immediately found Jesse James for the team's second of two third-quarter touchdowns.

A seventh touchdown to Jaylen Samuels started the fourth and widened Pittsburgh's lead to 38 points. Samuels was the sixth Steelers player Roethlisberger connected with for a touchdown during Thursday's game, finding a new man for each score against a struggling Carolina defense.

McCaffrey ran for Carolina's third touchdown of the game with just 5:35 remaining, but the Panthers efforts weren't enough to overcome the enormous lead amassed by a Roethlisberger-led offense. The veteran QB ended the night completing 22-of-25 attempts for 328 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.

Pittsburgh's defense finished with five sacks on Newton, who also threw an interception.

The Steelers take on the Jaguars on Nov. 18, while the Panthers hit the road again to take on the Lions.