The Carolina Panthers squeaked out a 10-9 victory over the favored San Francisco 49ers, travelling across the country into a hostile environment to do so on Sunday. The win makes five straight for the now 6-3 Panthers, a team that was just 1-3 just a month ago with many experts already writing off their season.
Most expected the 49ers to put the hot Panthers in their place, not buying into their win streak and ignoring them as a contender. However, as your’s truly predicted, the Carolina Panthers proved that they can beat the 49ers at their own game. That’s more than ESPN can claim, all of their experts picked against Carolina this week, but enough patting myself on the back.
The Carolina Panthers marched into San Francisco and relied on their defense to keep the 49ers offense in check and allow their running game to win them the game.
On offense, the 49ers could not find a way to combat the dominating 49ers front seven. Six sacks on quarterback Colin Kaepernick made it impossible for him to find any kind of rhythm, the Panthers held the rising star to an almost unheard of by today’s standards 91 yards passing.
The Panther’s offense was largely held in check in this one, but running back Deangelo Williams found just enough magic to get into the end zone for the game’s only touchdown in the first half.
Williams’ run epitomized the type of hard nosed football the Carolina Panthers have been playing of late. Rumbling in from 27 yards out on a misdirection handoff, Williams broke two tackles and maintained his balance down the sideline on his way to paydirt.
With San Francisco attempting to drive down the field for a game-winning field goal in the final minute, the Carolina Panther defense once again rose up to the occasion and sealed the team’s signature win. Drayton Florence snagged a Colin Kaepernick pass and Cam Newton and the offense were free to kill the clock and the hopes of the 49ers faithful.
Up next for the Carolina Panthers is a home date with the suddenly vulnerable New England Patriots.