Panthers close out preseason with loss on late Steelers TD

Newton, other Carolina regulars sit out final exhibition game

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kaelin Clay makes a 40-yard catch while covered by Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) during Thursday's preseason finale at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon / USA TODAY Sports)

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs scrambled for a 1-yard touchdown run with two seconds left as the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Carolina Panthers 17-14 in the preseason finale for both teams on Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Damiere Byrd’s 13-yard pass from Joe Webb with 1:18 left in the first half gave the Panthers the lead that they held for more than a half of playing time.

Earlier in the second quarter, Dobbs hooked up with receiver Justin Hunter on a 58-yard scoring play down the right sideline for a 10-7 lead.

The game featured reserves almost exclusively on a night that included a significant pregame rain. There was no scoring in the second half until the Dobbs run.

Pittsburgh finished 3-1 in the preseason. Carolina went 2-2.

The Steelers were in position to retake the lead early in the third quarter but were stopped on downs at the Carolina 5-yard line.

Then with about 1:30 remaining, Pittsburgh receiver Cobi Hamilton took a reception to the 10-yard line, where he was hit and fumbled. The Panthers recovered in the end zone.

A punt gave the Steelers a chance for their winning drive.

Derek Anderson started at quarterback for the Panthers. The Steelers went with Landry Jones.

That meant Carolina’s Cam Newton and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger were just spectators as were most of their first-team teammates.

Anderson was 2 of 10 for 10 yards and backup Joe Webb completed 8 of 12 for 88 yards.

Jones was 4 for 6 for 28 yards but picked off once. Pittsburgh’s first points came on Chris Boswell’s 35-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter.

Byrd, a second-year pro, has three touchdown catches this preseason.

Panthers linebacker David Mayo’s interception and 27-yard return set up running back Fozzy Whittaker’s 4-yard touchdown run for the game’s first points.

Carolina kicker Graham Gano, who has been in a tight competition with rookie Harrison Butker, missed his only field-goal attempt in the preseason finale when his 51-yarder bounced off the right upright in the third quarter.