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

Patrick PetersonJul 28 04:01p

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson will be used strictly on defense this season and will not see time in any offensive situations. The Cardinals have excess capacity at wide [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 03:42p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) has a bone bruise, according to head coach Ron Rivera. There is swelling in the knee but nothing is structurally damaged.

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:37p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller will be used much like Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy was last season. That means he should see quite a few passes headed his [ More ]

Ndamukong SuhJul 28 03:32p

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh's contract extension discussion will be put on hold until the end of the season, according to a source.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 03:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) missed practice Monday, July 28, to receive treatment for his injured hamstring. Head coach Tom Coughlin said Beckham probably has some tests scheduled for the hamstring.

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 03:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams looks to be a longshot for the final roster, because he is not a good special teams player and would have to help on [ More ]

M. BernadeauJul 28 02:43p

Dallas Cowboys OG Mackenzy Bernadeau has been working at left guard with the first-team offense, because OG Ronald Leary (hamstring) has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Bernadeau and [ More ]

Dan WilliamsJul 28 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Dan Williams (knee) is not expected to participate in practice Monday, July 28, but the team does not believe his knee injury is serious.

Everette BrownJul 28 02:22p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent LB Everette Brown (Cowboys). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 28 02:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers are confident that they will be able sign QB Ben Roethlisberger before his current contract expires, according to general manager Kevin Colbert. Colbert said he expects [ More ]

Anthony GaitorJul 28 01:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed free-agent CB Anthony Gaitor (Dolphins) and undrafted free-agent DT Jibreel Black (Michigan). Terms of the contracts were not disclosed, but all contracts signed [ More ]

Alshon JefferyJul 28 01:32p

Updating a previous report, Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) left practice early Monday, July 28, because of a sore foot.

Matt CasselJul 28 01:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder have been evenly splitting reps during the early part of training camp, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 01:23p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's (knee) left knee injury isn't expected to be serious, and head coach Ron Rivera is optimistic that Benjamin won't miss much time. Benjamin is [ More ]

Adrian PetersonJul 28 01:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson does not need to play in the preseason to show something to the coaching staff, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer said Peterson [ More ]

Golden TateJul 28 01:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate (shoulder) was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 28, and he is expected to take part in the team's first [ More ]

Frank GoreJul 28 12:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore is unlikely to play in the preseason this year. RBs Carlos Hyde and Jewel Hampton have both looked good so far during training [ More ]

Trent ColeJul 28 12:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy and LB Trent Cole squared off in a fight during training camp Sunday, July 27. 'Next thing you know, they're on the ground scuffling,' [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJul 28 10:13a

Cleveland Browns WRs Charles X. Johnson (knee) and Travis Benjamin (knee) are riding the stationary bike and working on the side Monday, July 28.

Micah HydeJul 28 10:03a

Green Bay Packers FS Micah Hyde has the edge over S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for the starting free safety spot.

Ray RiceJul 28 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice did not appeal his two-game suspension.

Kenny StillsJul 28 09:32a

New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem (back) and WR Kenny Stills (quadriceps) are out of practice Monday, July 28.

Chris RaineyJul 28 08:52a

The Indianapolis Colts released RB Chris Rainey.

Mike IupatiJul 28 04:02a

The San Francisco 49ers plan to re-sign RG Mike Iupati at some point. Originally the team thought it would not be able to keep him due to a higher [ More ]

Tim HightowerJul 28 03:22a

Former Washington Redskins RB Tim Hightower, who suffered a torn ACL in 2011 and a subsequent infection, was spotted at Washington Redskins camp in the past few days. Hightower [ More ]

Alan BonnerJul 28 12:52a

The Houston Texans have waived injured WR Alan Bonner (foot). Bonner suffered a broken foot during practice Saturday, July 26.

Russell OkungJul 28 12:22a

Seattle Seahawks OT Russell Okung (foot) is about two weeks away from returning to practice, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Terrell McClainJul 28 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Terrell McClain (ankle), LB DeVonte Holloman (dehydration) and FS Matt Johnson (hamstring) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of injuries.

Koa MisiJul 27 11:52p

Miami Dolphins LB Koa Misi (foot) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of a foot injury. He has told people that someone stepped on his foot and that he will be fine.

Dre KirkpatrickJul 27 11:02p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) did not participate in practice Sunday, July 27, because of an apparent hamstring injury. The injury is not expected to keep him out for long.

D.J. HaydenJul 27 10:32p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) still has no definite timetable for his return, but the team is optimistic that he will be ready for the start of the [ More ]

Kyle RudolphJul 27 10:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have signed TE Kyle Rudolph to a five-year extension worth $36.5 million.

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