One play into the second quarter, the Carolina Panthers have actually outgained the Pittsburgh Steelers by a yard, 73 to 72. But John Fox’s decision to punt on the opening drive well into Pittsburgh territory, winding up with a touchback’d punt, doesn’t exactly come across as playing to win. Some would point out Carolina did go for it on fourth down in the same spot on their next drive and failed. Well, don’t blame me for Carolina’s pass blocking.
Ben Roethlisberger and Jimmy Clausen have combined for two incompletions in 12 attempts, while Jonathan Stewart and Rashard Mendenhall have 26 and 29 yards respectively. Thirty-five of Mendenhall’s came on one breakaway run, and, well, it’s been a hit-or-miss night for Pittsburgh’s running game so far.
Panthers RB Mike Goodson has 26 total yards so far, and Steelers TE Heath Miller has caught 28.