The 49ers finally halted their six year opening game magic by getting they guts stomped by the Carolina Panthers, even though the Panthers played poorly themselves. Double ouch.
And so begins the Kyle Shanahan Era, three years into the Post Harbaugh Error.
The Niner defense had no pass rush and no sacks, but their run defense was vastly improved from the epic disaster of last year. First round draft pick Solomon Thomas was mostly invisible, along with recently elevated to elite status Tank Carradine. Elvis Dumervil actually WAS invisible, failing to show up anywhere on the stat sheet.
The Panther defense was a bit more betterly. They sacked Brian Hoyer four times, forced a fumble, make an interception, and most importantly stuffed the Niners on 4 of the 5 times they went for it on fourth down. These stuffings led directly to at least a thirteen point swing in the game. Two field goals for the Panthers and seven less points for the 49ers.
The Marquis Goodwin who looked like a terror in preseason reverted back to the Goodwin that existed on his previous team. Maybe he’ll catch a long pass, maybe he won’t. Yesterday, he didn’t. Dropping one that landed right in his breadbasket.
On the plus side for the locals, RB Carlos Hyde looked decent and made it through the entire game without getting injured. Perhaps next week. QB Hoyer looked okay, not great, not bad, not enough.
Then there was the offensive line, specifically the two guards. They completely lived up to the suspicions that they were completely inept. It looks like another year of 49er QBs fearing for their lives.
Some would say Shanahan was foolhardy in attempting the two fourth down conversions near midfield which led directly to Carolina scores. Some would applaud the bravado. And some would notice this gung-ho approach was the same one that cost his previous team a Super Bowl trophy. And that about sums up the somes.