David Johnson returned a fumble for Pittsburgh's first touchdown and two kickers combined to produce four field goals in helping the Steelers close out the pre-season with a 3-1 record.
Charlie Batch started at quarterback in place of Ben Roethlisberger and was 6-of-8 for 59 yards. Dennis Dixon replaced Batch and went 11-of-22 for 157 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown pass of 15 yards to Wesley Saunders.
No. 1 draft choice Cam Newton went 3-of-5 for 25 yards in limited action for the Panthers. He threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Jeremy Shockey.
Carolina, which went 1-3 in the pre-season, begins its regular campaign at Arizona. Pittsburgh will start up with a road game against Baltimore.