2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers' 5th straight win, beat 49ers 10-9

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-11 02:56

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Carolina coach Ron Rivera has heard all the skeptics questioning whether his Panthers were really as good as their record.

They had beaten the Giants, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Atlanta.

He will let Sunday's 10-9 road win at San Francisco speak for itself. Rivera has more to worry about than justifying the Panthers' impressive unbeaten run right now, even if they have now won five in a row.

This team is determined to sustain something special, and a victory against the NFC champion Niners (6-3) goes a long way in that effort.

''It's huge. It kind of talks about where we're headed and the direction we're going,'' Rivera said, calling it the marquee win of his three-year tenure. ''It was 10-9. It was about as tough a football game as it gets.''

So much so that the 49ers lost a pair of star players to concussions - tight end Vernon Davis and safety Eric Reid.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh didn't know much about either one yet.

''Just saw them in the locker room and they seemed as good as could be expected,'' Harbaugh said.

Here are five things to take from Sunday's game:

SAN FRANCISCO INJURIES: First, Davis went down with a concussion late in the first half, then rookie first-round draft pick safety Reid was injured with 8:29 left in the third quarter.

Just when the 49ers got some reinforcements back - linebacker Aldon Smith and wideout Mario Manningham - more players were hurt.

San Francisco tight end Garrett Celek was lost in the first half to a hamstring injury, while defensive tackle Ray McDonald hurt an ankle.

Whether these players can make it back in time for next Sunday's game at New Orleans is uncertain.

''Hate to see that. It's part of the game, when you play this game it's a possibility,'' center Jonathan Goodwin said. ''You just hope it's not too bad and those guys are able to be all right.''

TIGHT NFC WEST RACE: At 6-3, San Francisco's two-year reign as NFC West champions is in jeopardy.

Not only do the 49ers still have to face first-place Seattle at home on Dec. 8, Arizona is right in the chase at 5-4 and San Francisco ends the year in the desert on Dec. 29.

The 49ers understand the stakes and playoff implications.

''We're always going to bounce back, that's the team we have,'' linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. ''We just can't keep giving wins away. They didn't beat us, we gave it to them, and I'm going to leave it at that.''

PANTHERS' DROPPED PASSES: On several crisp passes by Cam Newton, his wide receivers had the ball in their grasp only to drop it.

That didn't help Newton's line. Not that he was overly concerned. Leaving Candlestick Park on top meant so much more.

Steve Smith caught six passes among his 11 targets, while Brandon LaFell added four receptions.

Newton wound up 16 for 32 for 169 yards, an interception and four sacks for a 52.7 passer rating.

DeAngelo Williams broke two tackles for a 27-yard touchdown run late in the first half that pulled Carolina within 9-7, then Graham Gano kicked a go-ahead 53-yard field goal with 10:05 remaining that held up for the Panthers.

''With us scoring right before half, it kind of shattered their momentum,'' Newton said. ''It's fun to get these kind of wins, in a hostile environment where you could cut through the tension with a knife at most points of this game.''

DEFENSIVE DAY: Two teams that came in scoring 30 or more points in their last five wins were held in check.

And, this time, it was Carolina's swarming, play-making defense that came through with big sacks of Kaepernick with the game on the line.

''We have to execute better, all around,'' Kaepernick said.

Linebacker Luke Kuechly had 11 tackles - two for loss - one of six sacks on Kaepernick, and a pass deflection. San Francisco was limited to 151 yards of total offense, with Frank Gore getting 82 of those yards on 16 carries.

''This has to be one of the biggest wins I've ever had,'' Kuechly said. ''Our D-line has been playing great all year. They played physical, they're playing their gaps, they play strong and they penetrate.''

MANNINGHAM AND ALDON SMITH: Manningham had three catches for 30 yards with a 14-yard reception in his season debut, nearly 11 months after a serious left knee injury ended his season and sent him to surgery - leaving him to watch a three-point Super Bowl loss.

Smith, a 2012 All-Pro and pass-rushing specialist, played about a dozen snaps in his first game since a 27-7 loss to the Colts on Sept. 22.

''I'm a competitor and I want to be on the field, but whatever works,'' he said. ''The season is long so we'll see how it goes.''

Everybody knows Smith will still make an impact.

''Oh, it's special to see a dominant player like that back,'' cornerback Tarell Brown said of Smith. ''We welcomed him back. Had limited snaps but I think his snaps will increase a lot more this week.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sammy WatkinsSep 21 08:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) was able to play in Week 3 against the San Diego Chargers, but he was limited to just two receptions and 19 yards. He was targeted eight times.

Tre BostonSep 21 07:52p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Andrew Norwell, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Jerricho Cotchery, QB Joe Webb, SS Tre Boston inactive for Week 3.

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 21 07:42p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Andrew Norwell, RB DeAngelo Williams, OT Garry Williams, DL Greg Hardy, LB Jason Williams, QB Joe Webb, SS Tre Boston inactive for Week 3.

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 21 07:42p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) is inactive for the Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

B.W. WebbSep 21 07:42p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared CB B.W. Webb, DT Daniel McCullers, RB Dri Archer, QB Landry Jones, WR Martavis Bryant, OG Ramon Foster, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 3.

L. TaliaferroSep 21 07:23p

Baltimore Ravens RB Lorenzo Taliaferro carried a game-high 18 times for 91 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. He was subbing for the injured RB Bernard Pierce (thigh).

Chris WilliamsSep 21 07:12p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee), SS Da'Norris Searcy (ankle) and OG Chris Williams (back) were each unable to return after leaving the Week 3 [ More ]

Nick NovakSep 21 07:12p

San Diego Chargers PK Nick Novak made a pair of field goals and he had two extra points in the Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. He has [ More ]

Danny WoodheadSep 21 06:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Danny Woodhead (ankle, leg) suffered a severe high ankle sprain and fractured fibula in the Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. A source said [ More ]

Dennis PittaSep 21 06:42p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) suffered a dislocated hip in the Week 3 game against the Cleveland Browns. He will have tests Monday, Sept. 22, to check for a possible fracture.

T Y HiltonSep 21 06:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) left the Week 3 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars due to an ankle injury. Head coach Chuck Pagano said Sunday, Sept. 21, that [ More ]

Jake LockerSep 21 06:23p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker remains the starting quarterback, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Sunday, Sept. 21, that he never considered benching Locker despite a lopsided loss in [ More ]

Matt CasselSep 21 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel (foot) has several fractured bones in his foot, head coach Mike Zimmer said Sunday, Sept. 21, after the Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints.

Blake BortlesSep 21 05:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said Sunday, Sept. 21, that QB Blake Bortles will start in Week 4 against the San Diego Chargers.

Russell OkungSep 21 05:52p

Seattle Seahawks OT Russell Okung (chest) left the Week 3 game against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter and he was immediately taken to the locker room due to an apparent chest injury.

Teddy BridgewaterSep 21 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater will take over as the team's starting quarterback in Week 4 after QB Matt Cassel (foot) suffered fractured bones in his foot in Week [ More ]

Donald BrownSep 21 05:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown had a career-high 36 touches in the Week 3 win against the Buffalo Bills. He ran 31 times for 62 yards, and had five catches for 27 yards.

Kyle RudolphSep 21 05:12p

Updating a previous report, Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (groin) will have an MRI on his right groin Monday, Sept. 22. 'Something popped. I've been battling it for a [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonSep 21 05:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle, foot) left the Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints due to a right ankle or foot injury. He had his right [ More ]

DeAngelo HallSep 21 05:12p

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') said after the Week 3 game against the Philadelphia Eagles that he fears he suffered a torn Achilles'. Head coach Jay Gruden said [ More ]

Jason HatcherSep 21 05:12p

Washington Redskins DE Jason Hatcher (hamstring) left the Week 3 game against the Philadelphia Eagles due to a hamstring injury. He said Sunday, Sept. 21, that he came out [ More ]

Brandon FuscoSep 21 04:02p

Minnesota Vikings OG Brandon Fusco (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during the team's Week 3 game, while CB Josh Robinson (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury.

Marcus EasleySep 21 03:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) and SS Da'Norris Searcy (ankle) suffered injuries during the team's Week 3 game and are considered questionable to return.

Greg ScruggsSep 21 03:22p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared OT Garry Gilliam, LB Bruce Irvin, OT Andrew McDonald, RB Christine Michael, WR Kevin Norwood, DE Greg Scruggs, CB Tharold Simon inactive for Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 03:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared SS Eric Berry, RB Jamaal Charles, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, QB Aaron Murray, DE Damion Square, RB De'Anthony Thomas, WR Albert Wilson inactive for Week 3.

Carson PalmerSep 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 3 game.

Tony CarterSep 21 03:12p

The Denver Broncos have declared CB Tony Carter, OG Ben Garland, WR Cody Latimer, LB Lerentee McCray, OT Michael Schofield, LB Danny Trevathan, DT Mitch Unrein inactive for Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 03:11p

Charles is out for the Week 3 game.

Mike PounceySep 21 03:02p

The Miami Dolphins have declared DE Terrence Fede, LB Koa Misi, RB Knowshon Moreno, C Mike Pouncey, OG Shelley Smith, LB Jordan Tripp and OT Billy Turner inactive for Week 3.

Vernon DavisSep 21 02:52p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle, knee) has been declared inactive for Week 3.

Vernon DavisSep 21 02:52p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared CB Tramaine Brock, DE Cornellius Carradine, OT Anthony Davis, TE Vernon Davis, C Marcus Martin, TE Vance McDonald, WR Quinton Patton inactive for Week 3.

Chad HenneSep 21 02:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles entered the team's Week 3 game in the second half after QB Chad Henne was benched.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group