Steelers Flatten Panthers, 33-17

The Steelers finished their preseason with a 3-1 record by going to Carolina and beating the Panthers, 33-17.

Charlotte, N.C. (AP) -- Cam Newton threw his first touchdown pass as a pro during the Carolina Panthers' 33-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night in their preseason finale.

The Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 draft pick out of Auburn played only the first series and was 3 of 5 for 25 yards with the 10-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera hasn't announced who will start the opener Sept. 11 at Arizona. Newton made his case for the job against a Steelers defense that rested Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Aaron Smith, James Farrior and both starting cornerbacks.

Charlie Batch started for Pittsburgh and was 6 of 8 for 59 yards and led a touchdown drive while playing roughly one quarter. He and Dennis Dixon are competing to back up Ben Roethlisberger.

Dixon completed 11 of 22 passes for 150 yards and a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Weslye Saunders in the fourth quarter.

David Johnson fell on a Mike Wallace fumble for the Steelers' first touchdown, and Jonathan Dwyer broke off a 50-yard touchdown run in the second quarter before Shaun Suisham and Swayze Waters combined for four consecutive field goals. Saunders' touchdown catch ended the scoring.

Dwyer led the Steelers with 80 yards on 13 carries. Emmanuel Sanders caught 4 passes for 60 yards in his return from a foot injury.

Steelers in roster battles who turned in strong performances included NT Steve McLendon and CBs Cortez Allen and Donovan Warren. Further details will be available Friday morning at

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after the game the team came out of the game without injuries.

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