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Zod

Game Grades - Panthers at 49ers

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So if SF had recovered instead of Tolbert and then scored, with that score very possibly being the margin in the game, would you be giving Stew a pass? No. No one is saying it wasn't a great play by Whitner and no one is saying that every fumble is preventable, but the bottom line is that fumbling in that situation is a major, major mistake.

 

In every game mistakes will be made. It's not the mistakes...yes u don't want to keep making them...but the fact that the Panthers showed not only a sense of alertness but willingness to weather those mistakes, that impressed me.

 

Let's keep it real, that missed fieldgoal last night had some of you already saying the game was over. Why is that? Because whether you realized it or not, it was your way of saying, this team doesn't know how to handle adversity. You have seen them faulter and lose close games over the simplest of mental break-downs. They showed last night TWICE, that they are turning the corner. They weathered their mistakes and came out on top.

 

The Panthers as a team, is learning and growing as a team. Mistakes will be made but it's the mental process that produces positive outcome that I like even more.

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Cam has to stop throwing high passes, just has to.   That and the odd couple INTs he's had to no one in the last two games.  Other than that, it was some WR drops that killed us.  Smith is good for 1-2 a game now, LaFail too.   My only knock on Shula was I felt we should have ran more, like, a lot more.  We were getting 3-4 yards consistently so I really wanted Tolbert/Stew to keep pounding them.  

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C for the offense is a fair grade. Didn't do anything great. Didn't do anything real bad. Kinda meh.

 

Those drops were huge because of when and where they happened.

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In one of the more memorable games in recent history the Panthers were victorious and walked away a solid playoff contender. It just doesn't get much better than that. On with the grades...

Offense:

Cam Newton completed only half of his passes, had no touchdowns, and threw an interception. That statement alone sounds much worse than he actually was thanks to multiple drops by Smith and Lafell on third downs. Jonathan Stewart fumbled the ball late in the 4th quarter, but unlike the Seahawks game, the Panthers were able to recover it. Deangelo Williams' touchdown scamper was the highlight of the entire day for the offense and ultimately won the game for the Panthers. This was not an impressive day for the Panthers offense, especially when it comes to player execution. Still, they did enough in the end to win the game, if only by a single point. That counts for something.

Offensive Grade: C+

Defense:

To say the Panthers defense did an excellent job Sunday would be a gross understatement. Together they put together a performance that will frighten Offensive Coordinators for the rest of the season. Frank Gore was held to under 100 yards and Colin Kaepernick looked pedestrian at best, completing only half of his passes and throwing a game losing interception. Credit Luke Kuechly for keeping Kaepernick confused on coverages the entire game. His adjustment calls during the game were a big contributor to the win.

Defensive Grade: A+

Special Teams:

Graham Gano missed his first field goal of the season (unlucky number 13) and once again the special teams unit coughed up a fumble. However, Gano made his second field goal that put the Panthers up by one and Ginn had a key return late in the game. Overall, just like the offense, enough to win. (Thanks defense!)

Special Teams Grade: C

Coaching:

I am starting to happily eat my harsh words for Mike Shula earlier this season. Both Rivera and Shula are coaching well. The poor offensive performance was mainly due to player execution. If the Panthers receivers caught those third down passes, this game would have been put away earlier.

The Panthers coaches marched into Candlestick Park and out-coached the NFC Superbowl representative from last year. That is the bottom line.

Coaching Grade: A

I cannot agree with the special teams grade.

We partially blocked a kick, the rest of that play was just crazy, and you cannot blame anyone on the field, Florence and pretty much everyone on the field had no idea were the ball was.

Ginn had 80+ return yards.

We stopped a punt return dead in its tracks, 0 yards.

Downed a punt at the one, and stopped a kick return at the five.

Gano missed a kick, but that is the only one all year, plus it didn't cost us the game.

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Gano missed a kick, but that is the only one all year

 

Its not an all year grade.

 

Gano made 50% of his field goals this game.

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Its not an all year grade.

Gano made 50% of his field goals this game.

Still, this is the Panthers special teams unit playing very solid, something in past seasons that was unheard of.

In comparison, this would be like Shaq having a 90% free throw average in a season.

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Carolina Incognitos = Bullies of 2013

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Special Teams deserves a B+. The fumble was a freak accident result of a blocked punt. Ginn had great returns, and our guys didn't allow poo on coverage.

 

That 'freak accident' has occurred more times this year than it should in 5 years.  Unbelievable that we keep making contact with balls on punts.  Luckily our D bailed us out and it didn't affect the outcome.  This was the first time I noticed us dropping somebody back on punts to be in front of Ginn and intercept the gunner.  I think it was Lester.  All he needs is a little time and space.

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That 'freak accident' has occurred more times this year than it should in 5 years. Unbelievable that we keep making contact with balls on punts. Luckily our D bailed us out and it didn't affect the outcome. This was the first time I noticed us dropping somebody back on punts to be in front of Ginn and intercept the gunner. I think it was Lester. All he needs is a little time and space.

Pretty sure this is our first time blocking a punt all season.

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I also wanted to mention that I thought for the most part we tackled really well yesterday. Obviously Luke had a few, but I specifically remember Captain having a huge tackle in the 4th. Love seeing that

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