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Panthers get back to 1-1, with easy win over the 49ers

Carolina Panthers' Kelvin Benjamin (13) catches a pass as San Francisco 49ers' Jimmie Ward (25) defends in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) AP

If the Panthers had to deal with a Super Bowl hangover last week in their loss at Denver, they found the cure Sunday.

Taking advantage of a game but overmatched 49ers defense, the Panthers eventually pulled away for a comfortable 46-27 win in their home opener.

The Panthers got had to make some plays through the air with running back Jonathan Stewart out with a hamstring injury, and they did just that, with Greg Olsen, Kelvin Benjamin and Ted Ginn taking turns making big plays.

Quarterback Cam Newton finished with 353 passing yards and four touchdowns. Benjamin (seven catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns) and Olsen (five catches for 122 yards including a 78-yard touchdown) each topped 100 yards, as the Panthers’ go-to offensive playmakers were more than enough.

The 49ers couldn’t sustain the kind of defense they displayed in a shutout of the Rams last week. Perhaps playing against a professional offense has something to do with that, but there were signs of the kind of late fade the Chip Kelly Eagles displayed, when forced to stay on the field too long.

They could be competitive as long as they can run well and play with a lead, but they lack the kind of passing game to make up ground quickly, which puts them at a severe disadvantage against teams like the Panthers (who led the league in scoring last year).

The Panthers took their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter and the 49ers closed to within a touchdown with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to tight end Vance McDonald. But there was never the sense they were going to let the 49ers back in, despite some valiant efforts by a few Panthers (namely Ginn on a bizarre fumbled kickoff return).

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20 Responses to “Panthers get back to 1-1, with easy win over the 49ers”
  1. southpaw79 says: Sep 18, 2016 4:53 PM

    The better team won. The Niners had some bright spots but just can not match the size of the Panthers Offense.

  2. braceyourselffor12 says: Sep 18, 2016 4:59 PM

    For a minute I thought we might pull out the upset but then remembered who our team has under center … The Great Gabbert. That’s not to discredit Carolina’s defense, as it’s a top five unit and demonstrated that throughout the game.

    It’s only one loss but I’m beginning to understand the criticism levied against Chip Kelly’s offense, as the repetitive nature of the play calling allowed Luke & Co. to settle in and shut down any potential big plays. It would also help if Gabbert didn’t throw into double coverage or worse – the dirt.

    The schedule doesn’t get any easier from here so hopefully we show up next week with a better game plan against a team who’s defense I heard it is pretty good.

  3. skawh says: Sep 18, 2016 5:04 PM

    But were the REFS calling a fair game and headshot penalties this game? Last weeks disregard of blatant penalties gave the Ref’s and the NFL a huge black eye on a national stage.

  4. joetoronto says: Sep 18, 2016 5:08 PM

    York wants to know if his Santa Clara 49ers can play the Chargers every week.

  5. cmosiedrum says: Sep 18, 2016 5:09 PM

    I wouldn’t say “easy”…but not unexpected.

    Glad to see the Niners D doing better then what the professional pundits have predicted. But the team still has a long way to go tho…

  6. captainwhodat says: Sep 18, 2016 5:28 PM

    sf came back to earth after beating the mighty (mouse) tinseltowners…

  7. natureboy123 says: Sep 18, 2016 5:29 PM

    Was it “easy” at 34-27? SMH at constant swipes at the 49ers. Their management is stupid, but they’re 1-1 and played the Panthers straight up for three quarters. Far from the worst team in the league as many predicted, at least so far.

  8. pantherfan4055 says: Sep 18, 2016 5:31 PM

    Wasn’t an easy win

  9. harrisbarton says: Sep 18, 2016 5:41 PM

    pantherfan4055 says:
    Sep 18, 2016 5:31 PM

    Wasn’t an easy win
    —————————————————
    Thanks for the honesty.
    Niners deserve some credit for not giving up early in the second half when the game looked like it was getting out of hand.

    Biggest difference was the Niners lack of offensive playmakers, compared to Carolina

  10. jrebar88 says: Sep 18, 2016 5:43 PM

    skawh says:
    Sep 18, 2016 5:04 PM
    But were the REFS calling a fair game and headshot penalties this game? Last weeks disregard of blatant penalties gave the Ref’s and the NFL a huge black eye on a national stage.

    #KeepPouting

  11. saundersspencer2 says: Sep 18, 2016 5:47 PM

    SF played better then I expected, but the Panthers made far too many mistakes which could have been much more costly. Some lapses in coverage, but Cam was clean all day. Great home opener.

  12. doe22us says: Sep 18, 2016 6:05 PM

    Its funny how the Cam haters come out in full force when the panthers loose or Cam heaving forbid looks at the camera man the wrong way and then go back crawling back to the hole they came from when the Panthers win. At least be consistent.

  13. namingrights says: Sep 18, 2016 8:13 PM

    “The Panthers got had to make some plays”
    Maybe you should read your own copy aloud to yourself one time before you hit publish.

    KEEP POUNDING

  14. doctorpancake says: Sep 18, 2016 8:29 PM

    49ers defense is legit, when they’re at home. On the road, against a potent offense led by the 2015 MVP? Not so much.

  15. LA_Panther says: Sep 18, 2016 8:53 PM

    That was not an easy win. 9ers played a gutsy game. We were very sloppy, but got away with it because we have people like Kelvin Benjamin, Luke Kuechly, Cam Newton, Thomas Davis etc… Our defense needs a lot of work. Not the defense of last year so far.

    I think it says a lot about a team where you have 4 turnovers and still win like this, but we need to clean it up. Nothing against the 9ers, but a better team would have made us pay for those mistakes.

    Clear example of an article written by someone that didn’t watch the game

  16. wrathofrathman says: Sep 18, 2016 10:50 PM

    Perhaps the extra 4 days rest and not having to fly cross country had something to do with it? This was as lopsided home field advantage as you can get….

  17. bak2bak2bakhaters says: Sep 18, 2016 11:00 PM

    CRY ME A RIVIERA TODAY???,what’s the bs this week ,keep pouting

  18. 7ftgriff says: Sep 18, 2016 11:31 PM

    The 49ers were definitely over matched, but they never quit, so it’s already an improvement over last year’s team.

    The stats don’t accurately reflect how bad Gabbert is/was though.

  19. jgedgar70 says: Sep 19, 2016 10:38 AM

    “But there was never the sense they were going to let the 49ers back in, despite some valiant efforts by a few Panthers (namely Ginn on a bizarre fumbled kickoff return).”

    I disagree. I was plenty nervous when it got to 34-27. Good effort by the 49ers; they didn’t fold up and quit at 34-10.

    We do have to clean up the turnovers. Minnesota will eat us for lunch if we play like that this week.

  20. mostovnik says: Sep 19, 2016 11:36 AM

    This team hasn’t had a passing game for years now. Kaepernick was no better than Gabbert.
    In one series where S.F. was backed up on their goal line with a first down they ran successive rushes up the middle for no gain. A complete waste of three downs and perfectly predictable. Should have been three pass attempts. Where’s the confidence?
    If coach Kelly sticks with his 1950’s strategy of running the ball he will be looking for another job before long. To win in this sport today offenses have to figure on scoring at least 30 points a game on average. Gaining 3 yards per down is not going to get you there.

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