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NFL Roundup: Big Ben, Steelers Rip Panthers

  • New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold, right, and Josh McCown warm up before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

  • Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) celebrates his touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

  • Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) throws a pass during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

  • Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrates a touchdown pass to Antonio Brown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

  • Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Vince Williams (98) returns an interception for a touchdown during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

  • Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner celebrates his 2-yard touchdown run against the Carolina Panthers in the first quarter at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS)



Thursday, November 08, 2018

Pittsburgh — The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t playing like a team missing Le’Veon Bell.

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 328 yards and five touchdowns, James Conner ran for 65 yards and a score before leaving late with a possible concussion and the Steelers pounded the Carolina Panthers, 52-21, on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.

Antonio Brown added eight receptions for 96 yards — including a 53-yard touchdown in the second quarter — to cap an eventful day that began with the star wide receiver being cited for reckless driving after police clocked Brown’s Porsche driving over 100 mph down a busy highway in the northern city suburbs.

While Bell — a three-time Pro Bowl running back who still hasn’t signed his one-year franchise tender — tweeted his thoughts as he watched on television, the Steelers (6-2-1) rolled on without him. Bell has until next Tuesday to sign a contract if he wants to play this season.

The Panthers (6-3) saw their three-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt in a city where they’ve never won. Carolina fell to 0-4 all-time in Pittsburgh and was never really in it after the Steelers scored 21 points in the game’s first 11 minutes.

Cam Newton completed 23 of 29 for 193 yards and a pair of flips to Christian McCaffrey that the second-year running back turned into scores but Newton’s showdown with Roethlisberger never materialized. The Steelers sacked Newton five times and rarely let him get comfortable.

Jets Turn to McCown

Florham Park, n.j. — Josh McCown will start at quarterback for the New York Jets against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in place of injured rookie Sam Darnold.

Coach Todd Bowles said on Thursday he ruled out Darnold to start because of a strained right foot, but hasn’t determined whether the rookie will be inactive for the game.

The 39-year-old McCown has not taken a snap in a regular-season game this season as the Jets have focused on developing Darnold.

Wally Triplett, Pioneer African-American RB, Dies

Detroit — Wally Triplett, the trailblazing running back who was one of the first African-Americans drafted by an NFL team, has died. He was 92.

The Detroit Lions and Penn State announced Triplett’s death on Thursday. Triplett was the third African-American selected in the 1949 draft, but he was the first of those draftees to play in a regular-season game. He played in 24 games for the Lions and Chicago Cardinals.

Triplett was also the first African-American to start for Penn State, and in 1948, he and teammate Dennie Hoggard became the first African-Americans to play in the Cotton Bowl.

Triplett was inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame this year, and his appearance in that game is part of Penn State lore. According to the school, the team was asked to consider the possibility of leaving Triplett and Hoggard at home for the game in then-segregated Dallas. Teammates responded by saying: “We are Penn State, there will be no meetings” — a reference to a previous Penn State team that voted to cancel a game at segregated Miami.

The story remains an important part of Penn State history, especially given the school’s well-known “We Are” moniker.

Triplett was drafted by the Lions in the 19th round in 1949. He played in 18 games for Detroit from 1949-50. On Oct. 29, 1950, against the Los Angeles Rams, he had 294 yards on four kickoff returns, an NFL record that lasted until 1994.