PITTSBURGH – The Panthers closed out the preseason Thursday night with a 10-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, marking the first preseason shutout for the team since 2003.
After a handful of first-teamers started the game and played a series or two, the game was turned over to the reserves, who limited the Steelers to just 185 total yards and did their best to impress with final roster cuts looming.
"It was nice for those guys to get an opportunity to finish out and finish strong," head coach Ron Rivera said. "They did some really good things, and it is going to be really nice to watch this tape."
Said rookie defensive end
The first half featured little scoring as a result of defensive dominance on third downs – the Panther were 1-of-6, the Steelers were 0-for-5.
But Carolina's only third-down conversion of the half and one fourth-down conversion helped lead to the game's first points. On the opening series, fullback
Anderson's fade pass into the end zone for wide receiver
The Panthers appeared poised to add to their lead in the second quarter after Anderson completed a 17-yard pass to tight end
The promising drive ended in Steelers' territory when Anderson couldn't grasp a high shotgun snap from center
"We handled it pretty well and we came out with the victory," Webb said of the quarterback shortage.
Added Rivera: "The quarterback play today was pretty darn good."
Webb found wide receiver
Whittaker, who was shaken up late in the first half, finished with 23 carries, nine of which came in the fourth quarter, as Carolina ground out the win. Whittaker's impressive preseason ended with a game-high 91 yards.
"Whenever my number is called, I want it to be known that I am giving 100 percent," Whittaker said, "and you'll see that in my play."
After the game, Rivera commended Whittaker's hard running as he spoke to the team.
"He showed some toughness," Rivera said. "He got bumped a little bit and stuck it out and finished up. He did a heck of a job. What he did for us in terms of making the tough runs, making the tough plays. He's done a great job for us."