Panthers just miss a shutout, hammer 49ers 23-3

AP

No, Cam Newton isn’t quite right yet. No, it might not matter for a few weeks.

The Panthers made easy work of the 49ers Sunday, with a 23-3 road win.

Newton threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns, but was just 14-of-25 passing in his first extensive action since his surgery in March on his throwing shoulder. He threw just two passes in his one preseason game, so some degree of rust was anticipated.

He was fortunate to have a defense which could carry them this year. Carolina stopped the 49ers on three fourth-down conversation attempts (rookie coach Kyle Shanahan was all¯_(ツ)_/¯), and the Panthers sacked 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer four times.

They held the 49ers to 217 yards of total offense.

The Panthers take on the Bills next week and the Saints after that, so they’re fortunate to open with a workable early stretch of the schedule.

They’ll hope Newton doesn’t come up sore like his early training camp setback, but for the moment, he has a little margin for error.