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Game Grades - Panthers at 49ers

Nov 11 2013 06:37 AM Zod Carolina Panthers
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

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75 Comments

:: before


We had what, like 5 dropped passes? Also, although Cam didn't have a great game, he had some stellar throws on 3rd down and long in the 4th. He did what we needed him to do to win.. stop dropping passes Smitty!

C+ is being to nice to the offense.  Sure they had some nice drives but for the most part they where terrible.  D-

Seahawk game: 3 drops on 3rd down, bad fumble late that cost us the game. Scored 7 points

Zods reaction: OMFG Shula is awful! "7 points". Coaching grade: F-----


49ers game: 3 huge drops from WR's. 2 bad fumbles late that luckily didnt cost us the game. Scored 10 points

Zod: GREAT COACHING. "If receivers could have caught the ball we would have put them away earlier." Scored 10 points . Coaching grade: A+

;) Welcome aboard Zod. Good to know you've joined those of us who can actually analyze football and realize theres a difference between "coaching" and "execution"

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.

I think the offense could really be broken out into position groups for this one:

 

QB - C

RB - C+ (Would be a B if not for Stew's fumble)

WR/TE - D (Would be an F if not for the couple of clutch catches to offset the drops)

OL - B (All things considered)

Stewart didn't fumble.  The defense player punched the hell out of that ball. 

Stewart didn't fumble.  The defense player punched the hell out of that ball. 

 

I don't disagree but the fact that SF was gunning for the ball in that situation is Football 101...  can't put it on the ground there.  The Seattle defender punched the hell out of the ball in Deangelo's arms as well, as did Atlanta with LaFell last week. 

Stewart didn't fumble. The defense player punched the hell out of that ball.


He's gotta have two hands on the ball there and can't put it on the ground....period.

Stewart didn't fumble.  The defense player punched the hell out of that ball. 

 

And your point? That's called a forced fumble. 

 

Thanks to Tolbert, Stew's not getting roasted today for turning the ball over in a critical situation.

Point being the defensive play hit it perfectly.  I don't think any runningback could have held onto that ball.

Point being the defensive play hit it perfectly.  I don't think any runningback could have held onto that ball.

 

Two hands would have.

Point being the defensive play hit it perfectly. I don't think any runningback could have held onto that ball.


Again....put TWO HANDS on the ball I'm that situation. Let's start there before assuming no RB could hold the ball there

Again....put TWO HANDS on the ball I'm that situation.

 

How is this not completely obvious?

Offense gets a B from me. They flew 2k miles to the wrong side of the country and did enough to beat an outstanding defense that was coming off a 5 game win streak. Despite the pedestrian numbers they made the plays when the had to, extending drives, eating the clock and getting on scoring position 3 times.

Defense- not enough can be said.
Stew HAD two hands on the ball but the initial shot he took knocked one loose, go back and re watch it. He was trying his damnedest to hold on to the ball. I blame his extended absence and have said in several threads that ball security is my main concern with him.

Stew HAD two hands on the ball but the initial shot he took knocked one loose, go back and re watch it. He was trying his damnedest to hold on to the ball. I blame his extended absence and have said in several threads that ball security is my main concern with him.


I watched it several times. He had two hands on the ball, took one off before the ball came loose.

I watched it several times. He had two hands on the ball, took one off before the ball came loose.

 

 

It came off when the defender punched the ball.  Not a good angle to argue it. 

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.
He didn't voluntarily take his hand off the ball, it was a shot from behind that did it.
This was probably mentioned on the game day thread....but that Captain dropped pick was terrible

This was probably mentioned on the game day thread....but that Captain dropped pick was terrible


That's why he's not a WR- hit him right in the hands.

I'm supremely encouraged because we did our best to give this game away, but had the mental toughness to keep fighting.

early on cam was like i tbought he would be....jittery. he was much like he was in the early part of the atl game. he made dumb mistakes, but after 2-3 series settled down. after that the offenses woes lied mainly on receivers dropping balls and the 49ers playing good stout D. i think that last part gets overlooked in the discussion. the san fran D is the real deal. 

 

the good news to me is that this is the stoutest D  we'll face the rest of the regular season.  i don't expect us to be so shaky the rest of the season.

 

If you have game rewind look at the 2:03:15 mark.  He did have his arm under the ball but not securely.  I stand corrected.

Offense gets a B from me. They flew 2k miles to the wrong side of the country and did enough to beat an outstanding defense that was coming off a 5 game win streak. Despite the pedestrian numbers they made the plays when the had to, extending drives, eating the clock and getting on scoring position 3 times.

Defense- not enough can be said.

We converted 41% of our 3rd down conversions....that alone gets a B in my book

We converted 41% of our 3rd down conversions....that alone gets a B in my book


The other 59% were dropped passes