Steelers vs Panther : Get a summary of the Carolina Panthers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers football game. The Steelers will play their final preseason game on Thursday markets will be able to tune. The Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Carolina Panthers in their final preseason game of 2017 before heading to face the Browns. The Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field, during the team’s final preseason game of 2018.
There’s no time for the Pittsburgh Steelers to sit back and enjoy last week’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. The Carolina Panthers are coming to town on Thursday in a showdown of two of the hottest teams in the league. The Steelers have won four in a row and the Panthers have won five of their last six.
Here are the three things we are worried about most right now.
Yes, we know the Panthers are also coming off of a short week going into the game. But while Carolina cruised past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, the Steelers scratched out a tough win over the Ravens. The Panthers also played at home last week. If either team is going to show the ill effects of a short week to prep it will be Pittsburgh. Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is “not expected to report” to the Steelers in time for Pittsburgh’s Week 10 matchup with the Panthers on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Adam Schefter. Bell has not played for the Steelers in 2018 and is holding out to seek a new contract.
Bell must report to the Steelers by Nov. 13 to play in 2018. Per the league’s collective bargaining agreement, any player on a contract is mandated to report to their team by the Tuesday after Week 10 to be eligible for the rest of the season. Thursday night’s matchup vs. Carolina will be the last contest Bell can miss to appear in any game this season.
There’s no guarantee Bell will appear at Pittsburgh’s facility by Nov. 13, as Bell’s absence in Week 10 “[increases] the possibility that the star running back will not play at all this season,” per Fowler and Schefter. The Michigan State product will miss out on $855,000 for each game he holds out. Bell led the league in carries in 2017 and rushed for 1291 yards and nine touchdowns. The Steelers’ running game has not slowed in his absence. Second-year running back James Conner has tallied 1,085 yards from scrimmage this season and added nine rushing touchdowns. Pittsburgh’s offense ranks No. 9 in the NFL in points per game.
Pittsburgh is likely to place the transition tag on Bell after the season per Schefter. The move would place the Steelers’ initial contract for Bell at “approximately $9 million to $10 million” for the 2019 season. Teams can bid more for Bell’s services, but Pittsburgh would have the right to match any offer. If the Steelers are the highest bidder, Bell will be forced to sign with the team. An undrafted quarterback lit up the Raiders on Thursday night, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers held off the Ravens in an AFC North showdown, the Panthers picked up a big NFC South win, and the Vikings cruised past the Lions behind the return of Dalvin Cook. In the late afternoon, the Saints handed the Rams their first loss of the season. The Patriots’ defense — which had been one of the team’s questions in the first half of the season, due to inconsistent play — showed that it can slow down one of the top quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers. Specifically, the front four generated plenty of pressure, which hasn’t always been easy for the unit. That bodes well heading into next Sunday’s road game against the Titans. The Steelers have to be pleased with the state of their defense after outmuscling the Ravens for a fourth consecutive win. Despite looking unorganized to start the season, Pittsburgh hasn’t allowed more than 21 points in a game since September and held Baltimore to field goals on three of its four red zone trips. “We’ve found our rhythm, everyone’s healthy, and we’re showing what kind of defense we can be,” corner Mike Hilton said. The Steelers will find out more about their defense Thursday against Cam Newton and the Panthers.