by David Zizmor
SANTA CLARA– It was a tough Carolina Panthers team that the 49ers had to face there at Candlestick last Sunday. Carolina is a surging team they’re on a long winning streak. Someone had to win, someone had to lose and you look at these two teams they both have excellent defenses and that’s what really dominated and dictated this game which is two great defenses.
The bottom line was that Carolina got the last score that’s what gave them the win 10-9 and the 49ers just couldn’t get anything going on offense but it’s not like the Panthers dominated either. There’s a lot of hand wringing going on in San Francisco about the Niners offensive game plan and there’s something to be said about that. The 49ers just ran into a defense that was really, really good and it’s tough to move the ball against a team like that.
Once you lose Vernon Davis and the passing game is still coming around it makes it tough to go up and down the field. It was not like the 49ers weren’t in this one it unfortunate because the 49ers played a great defensive game. They were just as strong as the Panthers were but the simple fact is the Niners offense couldn’t solve Carolina’s defense.
10-9 is not like anyone dominated but Carolina sent a message and said “We’re here you have to deal with us” the rest of the league had to be aware of this game and Carolina is a team that is aiming for the playoffs and the 49ers really wanted that win but they got to brush it off and look ahead to next week’s game against New Orleans.
One of the strengths of the Carolina defense was the rush, they have a great front seven their linebackers and defensive lineman were all fantastic, you talk about a team that’s going to send multiple guys to the Pro Bowl they’re that good and the 49ers offensive line have been really solid as well. When quarterback Colin Kaepernick is under pressure he’s like any other quarterback it just becomes difficult to make a play.
Some teams Kaepernick’s been able to break out and get yards with his legs but Carolina has really quick linebackers just like the Niners do and it’s really tough too for a running quarterback to gain any yards. Kaepernick had that problem even when he was able to escape the pass rush there and there was really no field for him to rush.
Kaepernick couldn’t get any yards running and frankly when your being chased all over the place unless your receivers can come back and give you options it’s tough to make a play that way either. Kaepernick he has to work on a few things to be sure but also he’s not going to face a defense as good as that outside of Seattle the rest of the season.
David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio