(Reuters) - Pittsburgh’s defense sucked the life out of previously unbeaten Carolina while Ben Roethlisberger passed for two touchdowns to help the Steelers record a 37-19 victory on Sunday.
The Steelers’ defense forced their first two turnovers of the season while the offense gained 454 yards on the back of Roethlisberger’s passes to Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell’s 147 rushing yards.
LeGarrette Blount also ran for 118 yards for Pittsburgh as they established their ground game.
“We came out here and knew what we needed to do with our running game, and we got that done,” Blount told reporters.
“I knew I was going to come in (and needed to produce).”
The Steelers were beaten 26-6 by Baltimore last week, but looked like a different team against the Panthers.
Pittsburgh grabbed a 9-3 halftime lead after three field goals from Shaun Suisham and broke the game open in the third quarter when Roethlisberger made both his touchdown passes to Brown to push the lead to 23-6.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton threw for 250 yards and a fourth-quarter score in his second game back from a rib injury.
The Steelers then added Robert Golden’s fumble recovery for a touchdown and LeGarrette Blount’s eight-yard touchdown run before Carolina’s backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who replaced Newton late in the final period, completed a touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin to complete the scoring.
Newton, who looked as though he was playing through pain for part of the night, departed the contest in the last quarter.
“At times we flashed, but more times we just looked out of sync,” Newton said. “My hat goes off to the Steelers with their preparation going into this.”
The Steelers added Robert Golden’s fumble recovery for a touchdown and Blount’s eight-yard touchdown run before Carolina’s backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who replaced Newton, completed a touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin to complete the scoring.
Rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was a lone bright spot for Carolina (2-1), catching eight passes for 115 yards and a score.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury/Patrick Johnston