Well, hell, I’m impressed. The league probably is, too. And if not, then at least Carolina should be.
Whew, what a butt kicking. This was a good Panthers team, but the 49ers just trampled them from start to finish. On the ground, in the air, and on defense. 27-3 in the first half; 24-10 in the second.
Panthers QB Kyle Allen entered the game with a 4-0 record and not a single interception on his resume. He left the game with a 4-1 record, three interceptions, seven sacks, and a 28.9 QB rating. Cam Newton had the wheels greased for his return next week.
This year is looking eerily similar to 1981, when a young 49er team roared out of nowhere and took the league by storm all the way to SB victory number one.
The 49ers’ defense has not allowed a touchdown pass since Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh, and it’s the fourth consecutive game they have given up 100 or fewer yards passing. All-world rookie DE Nick Bosa had three sacks Sunday, seven on the year, plus an interception with a 46 yard power return. Arik Armstead had two sacks himself.
Bosa’s int was a spectacular effort where he stopped his pass rush on a dime, leaped up and snatched Allen’s pass out of the air with hands any DB would love to have, then shoved Allen out of the way and another would be tackler near the end of his run before finally succumbing to an ankle tackle. This was no D-line rumbling forward run. Much more like a fullback on the loose run.
RB Tevin Coleman had a big day, too, with three TDs and 105 yards on 11 carries. Not to be overlooked, Dante Pettis had one catch for five yards, keeping his streak alive of making the stat sheet while contributing pretty much nothing.
Emmanuel Sanders made his Niner debut, catching four passes for twenty-five yards and the 49ers’ first TD of the game. He would prove to be an afterthought following that opening drive, but it was clear the team’s WR corps got a big boost by trading for him just last week.
It’s going to be a short week, with a trip to Arizona for a Thursday night game. Let’s hope the team saved some of its excellence for that game and they enter the midway point of year with a perfect 8-0 record.