Panthers Escape With Win Over 49ers In Ugly Game On All Sides
By Danny Cox
Many said that if the Carolina Panthers played against the San Francisco 49ers like they played against the Atlanta Falcons, then it would be a long day on the field. It was a very long day at Candlestick Park, but one that ended in a victory for the Panthers and it elevated them to 6-3 with their fifth straight victory.
People say that a win is a win, and that is very much the case at this point. The only problem is that as the season goes on, things are only going to get harder and the Panthers have got to clean up in a lot of areas.
Coaching Grade: C+
Coach Ron Rivera continues to call a balanced game on offense and it shows as the passing and running attacks are almost even in number of plays yet again. The only problem is that it is not producing nearly as well as anyone would hope. Luckily for the Panthers, the defense is stepping up to the plate time and time again to bail them out.
The Panthers have the talent on offense but still haven’t found the offensive scheme that will get the team rolling. If they want to be a playoff contender, the offense is going to have figure out a way to dominate games, they can’t always rely on the defense to bail them out.
Offense Grade: D+
This just wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Cam Newton completed 50 percent of his passes and had no passing touchdowns and one interception. Making matters worse is that he was sacked four times for a loss of 30 yards total. The running game wasn’t much better as four backs combined for 111 yards. DeAngelo Williams had 46 yards, but 27 of them came on his touchdown run.
The biggest problem is the turnovers and near turnovers. Newton had the one interception and a late fumble, but luckily, he recovered it. The Panthers had another fumble in the final moments but were able to recover as well. Those kinds of mistakes cannot continue to happen.
Defense Grade: A+
The saviors of the game were the defense and they tormented Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers for the entire day. San Francisco had a mere 151 yards of total offense and 46 (net) of them came from Kaepernick’s 11-of-22 passing day. A day that included one interception and getting sacked six times.
Carolina also recovered one fumble and kept Frank Gore in check in the running game. This was just an overall great performance by the Panthers defensively. The defense can be credited with keeping Carolina’s winning streak alive and putting an end to the streak of the 49ers.
Special Teams Grade: B
Graham Gano may have hit the 53-yard field goal that ended up being the game winner, but he missed a 48-yarder that could have almost sealed it. Still, he did what needed to be done.
Brad Nortman had a really good game as he had to punt seven times for an average of 45.7 yards, with one touchback and two downed inside the 20-yard line. He had a long of 65 yards on the day and his leg was great for pinning the Niners back all day.
Ted Ginn Jr. looked good in the return game and helped give some decent starting field position for the Panthers.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.