Steelers top Panthers in preseason finale

PITTSBURGH -- Charlie Batch completed 11 of 14 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown to bolster his hopes of playing a 15th NFL season and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Carolina Panthers 17-16 in their preseason finale Thursday night.

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Batch hit Emmanuel Sanders for a 37-yard play on Pittsburgh's first drive and later found Will Johnson for a 27-yard gain to set up a field goal as the Steelers (3-1) won a battle of the backups against the Panthers (2-2).

Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen passed for 173 yards and two touchdowns, including a 79-yard score to rookie Lamont Bryant with 2:31 to play to bring the Panthers within a point. The two-point conversion failed, however, and kicker Justin Medlock missed a 50-yard field goal with 32 seconds left.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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