The Carolina Panthers rolled into Levi’s Stadium looking to pick a fight with the undefeated San Francisco 49ers. They left with an old fashioned behind the woodshed thrashing that Carolina Panthers fans are all too accustomed to in the age of Ron Rivera.
On with the grades:
Aside from Christian McCaffrey, I cannot think of a single player on offense that looked prepared or played any where near their potential. Kyle Allen looked confused at times which is to be expected with a young quarterback on the road against a great defense.
What I did not expect was for the entire remainder of the offense to just lay down and accept defeat in such a casual manner. From early in the game this felt like yet another melt down, like the Pittsburgh Steelers game of 2018. The only question is will it send the Carolina Panthers in a downward spiral of football ineptitude or will it challenge them to improve? Time will tell.
Offensive Grade – F
The Carolina Panthers defense decided to display their worst tackling of the season against one of the best offenses in the league. The result was completely predictable. The 49ers moved the ball at will with little resistance. Aside from Luke Kuechly and Bruce Irvin, no defensive players deserve any praise. They all looked unprepared and uninterested.
This is what has me most concerned. I knew the offense would struggle in San Francisco. What I did not expect is a soft defense that looked more interested in heading home than tackling an opponent.
This is a major concern moving forward.
Defensive Grade – F
And now we come to the heart of the matter and the biggest issue in the Carolina Panthers devastating loss to the San Francisco 49ers. There is no doubt about it, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was out-coached and out witted the entire game. From start to finish, Kyle Shanahan had Ron Rivera’s number (as he usually does) and proceeded to show Rivera what an actual playoff team looks like. Over, and over, and over again.
It seems we can count on a Ron Rivera melt down every season and this game certainly checks all the boxes. The only question now is, will it be the only one or are there more atrocities to enjoy this season?
Coaching Grade – F minus