Final

Steelers 10

(0-4, 0-2 away)

Panthers 25

(3-1, 2-0 home)

7:30 PM ET, August 29, 2013

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC 

1 2 3 4 T
PIT 7 3 0 010
CAR 7 10 3 525

Ginn ignites Panthers in 25-10 win over Steelers

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ted Ginn Jr. is proving coach Ron Rivera is right -- he can still blow the top off a defense.

The 28-year-old Ginn is earning himself a home in Carolina, catching five passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns to lift the Panthers to a 25-10 preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.

In a game devoid of star power, Derek Anderson completed 10 of 15 passes for 220 yards, including TD strikes of 87 and 35 yards to Ginn, who is looking to re-establish himself in the league after being run out of Miami and San Francisco.

"It was great just going out and finishing the preseason with a bang," said Ginn, whose 74-yard punt return sparked Carolina's 34-27 win over Baltimore last week. "I'm happy I was able to show my team what I have."

Only a handful of starters played as both coaches took a long look at players further down the depth chart.

Rookie quarterback Landry Jones started and played the entire game for the Steelers, completing 16 of 35 passes for 189 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. After throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Paulson on Pittsburgh's opening drive, Jones couldn't get the Steelers back in the end zone on their next 13 possessions.

Jones admitted he made "some really bad decisions."

"It was just errant throws -- it happens," Jones said.

The Steelers drafted Jones in the fourth round giving them another option at quarterback for the often-injured Roethlisberger.

The reviews were mixed.

He did well avoiding the pass rush he seemed to struggle as the game progressed throwing three second-half interceptions, including one in the red zone. His best play came in the second quarter when he escaped a pass rush and threaded the needle by hitting Derek Moye on the run with a 32-yard completion.

"I just wanted to go out there and play to the best of my abilities, and obviously, I didn't do that tonight," Jones said. "There's a lot of football (game film) out there to watch, and I've got all day tomorrow to get it done."

The Steelers' starting offensive line played for two series, but all of their primary skill players were given the night off, including Ben Roethlisberger, Isaac Redman and Antonio Brown.

The Panthers rested almost their entire starting offense, as well, including Cam Newton. The only big play Newton made all night was wearing a bold pair of neon-green sneakers that stood out like a beacon on Carolina's sidelines.

Rivera rested Newton and company despite the fact Carolina's first-team offense had only scored one offensive touchdown in the preseason.

Earlier in the week Rivera scoffed at the idea the Panthers offense had "struggled" in the preseason, instead saying he liked the way the team was moving the ball "but we just need to put the ball in the end zone."

Anderson did that twice in the first half, including finding Ginn on a seam route for a 35-yard touchdown pass on the game's opening drive. Ginn then raced by Pittsburgh's DaMon Cromartie-Smith and Curtis Brown for an 87-yard touchdown catch.

"I came out and saw the safety take a bad angle right away and Ted's so fast that I just gave him a chance," Anderson said. "I don't think you can actually overthrow him."

After placing Jonathan Stewart on the physically unable to perform list earlier this week, the Panthers went into the game looking for a potential backup for DeAngelo Williams.

Tauren Poole got the start at running back and ran for 32 yards on 10 carries, while Armond Smith had 43 yards on 17 carries.

Rivera was pleased with his team's overall play, including the defense which had three turnovers.

The Panthers finished the preseason with 13 takeaways in four games.

"The thing that showed is we have some good young backups," Rivera said. "We got an opportunity to see those guys play today and they played well against a very physical, very tough Pittsburgh Steelers team."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was a little more critical of his reserves.

"Hopefully, we can separate the guys who don't belong and we can correct that over the next 48 hours," Tomlin said in advance of NFL's looming roster cuts to 53 players on Saturday.

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Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveReedAP

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
PIT
CAR
1st Downs1813
Passing 1st downs
108
Rushing 1st downs
75
1st downs from Penalties
10
3rd down efficiency
5-144-14
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays6358
Total Yards304315
Yards per play4.85.4
Total Drives1314
Passing184236
Comp - Att
16-3515-23
Yards per pass
5.310.3
Interceptions thrown
30
Sacks - Yards Lost
1-52-10
Rushing12079
Rushing Attempts
2733
Yards per rush
4.42.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-30-2
Penalties2-155-40
Turnovers31
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
30
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession28:3431:26

Passing Leaders

PITC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Jones16/351895.4131-5
CARC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Anderson10/1522014.7200-0
Clausen5/8263.3002-10

Rushing Leaders

PITCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones14564.0012
Dwyer6284.7012
CARCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith17432.505
Poole10323.2011

Receiving Leaders

PITRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Moye25527.50324
Paulson44110.31134
CARRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Ginn Jr.514929.82876
Hixon34414.70234

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPITCAR
carTD12:03Ted Ginn Jr. 35 Yd Pass From Derek Anderson (Graham Gano Kick) 07
pitTD08:16David Paulson 13 Yd Pass From Landry Jones (Shaun Suisham Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERPITCAR
carFG09:18Graham Gano 19 Yd 710
carTD04:40Ted Ginn Jr. 87 Yd Pass From Derek Anderson (Graham Gano Kick) 717
pitFG00:04Shaun Suisham 37 Yd 1017
THIRD QUARTERPITCAR
carFG01:34Graham Gano 40 Yd 1020
FOURTH QUARTERPITCAR
carFG12:01Graham Gano 23 Yd 1023
carSF08:36R.Dunn Tackled in the end zone by M. Addison for a Safety 1025