The Panthers avoided red zone problems, by avoiding the red zone.
The 49ers had just stifled the Panthers, hanging onto their 6-0 lead with an incredible defensive stop at the goal line.
They were able to stop both Newton and fullback Mike Tolbert on short-yardage runs, and drilled Newton in the backfield short of converting a fourth-and-inches attempt on the first play of the second quarter.
Then Newton dropped a perfect pass in to Smith, who worried people this week with the condition of his knee. Smith now has three catches for 65 yards, which should establish that he’s OK.