PITTSBURGH – It was a night the Carolina Panthers thought they would get a true measure of themselves as a team.
This was not what they had in mind.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, behind a Pro Bowl worthy performance from Ben Roethlisberger (22 of 25, 328 yards, five touchdowns), throttled the Panthers 52-21 in the opening game of Week 10.
Christian McCaffrey scored all three Panthers touchdowns, in a game that was decided before halftime.
The loss snapped the Panthers three-game winning streak, and puts their record at 6-3 on the season, and while the 52 points tied a franchise mark for most points allowed in a game, head coach Ron Rivera said afterwards, that all is not lost.
“The truth of the matter is, it’s one football game,” Rivera said. “We’re 6-3 right now, and we’ve got seven more games to find out. Next week, we start getting ready for Detroit, and that’s what I’m going to look at.”
Rivera continued, “at the end of the day, guys, this (expletive) happens, and I’m gonna put it just like that. Let’s just be honest about it. It happens. This is my 30th year in the NFL. I’ve seen games like this, I’ve been part of games like this – on both sides. If you continue to dwell on it and worry about it, it’s gonna creep in.”
“If you get over it, and start preparing for your next game and focus on your next game, you give yourself a chance to win the next game. That’s what we’re gonna do. There is no magic pill. I told that to the players in the locker room. ‘At the end of the day, get this one out of your system and move forward.’ I’m not going to go in there and beat them down. They’re beat down already.”
The team will have the weekend to think about this one, before coming back to work to get ready for the Detroit Lions in week 11.