CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The Carolina Panthers were searching for its third straight win but came up short, falling 24-16 to the Steelers and dimming the playoff picture Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.

The Steelers (6-8) started the season with a quarterback controversy and have since landed on Mitch Trubisky as the mainstay. With 6:14 to go in the 4th quarter, Trubisky converted two impressive first downs highlighted by an impressive 50-yard field goal from Chris Boswell, sealing the Panthers (5-9) fate.

Despite not putting any points on the board in the 1st quarter, Sam Darnold was efficient from the onset, however, Pittsburgh got on the board first with a 7-yard rush TD from Pro Bowler Najee Harris. DJ Moore would tie the game up in the 2nd quarter on a 5-yard reception from Darnold that capped an 85-yard drive. The Steelers responded on the next set of plays with a rushing TD from Jaylen Moore from two yards out and went into halftime clinging to a 14-7 lead.

Panthers O-Line on best holiday gifts from QBs

Trubisky put some insurance on the board with a 1-yard TD rush and a 21-7 lead to end the 3rd quarter. The secondary continued to get burned by Pittsburgh on Sunday on third and long throughout the afternoon.

As far as the playoff picture is concerned, the Saints beat the Falcons on Sunday meaning they both join Carolina at 5-9, all three now tied for 2nd place in the NFC South behind Tampa. Tampa (6-7) hosts the 9-4 Bengals at 4 p.m.

The Panthers return to action Saturday on Christmas Eve with another home contest at Bank of America Stadium against the Lions (1 p.m., Fox Charlotte).