Niner fans have to be really thankful to the Arizona Cardinals for selecting QB Kyler Murray as the #1 draft pick this year which allowed Nick Bosa to fall to the Niners who held the #2 pick. Funny how a team that had a grand total of 3 wins last year start this season with 7 consecutive wins. True that Bosa alone isn’t the only factor for this turn-around but he is a BIG reason. There are 52 other players on this team that are playing their best football of their careers. Bosa had a career game against the Panthers and had unreal stats (4 solo tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 unbelievable interception).
Many analysts had picked the Panthers to win as they were on a 5 game winning streak, had a bye week so had 2 weeks to prepare for the Niners and had a hot QB (Kyle Allen) who had thrown zero interceptions in his 5 starts. These same analysts were saying that Allen is their current and future QB and that Cam Newton’s career with Carolina was over.
Result: Niners – 51 Panthers – 13. Kyle Allen had a net passing total of 100 yards, threw 3 interceptions, and had a QBR of 4.7. Just a guess but I’m thinking that Cam will start the next game for the Panthers. Also, Christian McCaffery had a good game but not a game breaking game with 117 yards on 14 carries and scored their only TD.
The entire Niner D played like an undefeated team and totally dominated a play-off caliber team. In their last three games, they have held Jared Goff to a QBR of 1.1, Case Keenum to a QBR of 25.9, and now Kyle Allen to a QBR of 4.7. Every defensive player had great games, but the other key player besides Bosa that I’d like to single out is E-Man Moseley. In my opinion, he had the key play of the day as he jumped a route and intercepted the ball in the early stage of the game that turned the tide in a close game and started the annihilation. It may be difficult to replace Moseley at CB when Ahkello Witherspoon is ready to return after his foot injury heals. Regardless, it will be a good problem for Shanahan to have as he now has 3 outstanding Corners in E-Man, Ahkello and Richard Sherman.
On Offense, Tevin Coleman showed why he was a star for Shanahan at Atlanta and is now strutting his stuff for Shanahan with the Niners. He had 4 TD’s (3 rushing… 105 yards on 11 carries and 1 receiving). E-Man Sanders, who the Niners traded for to shore up their receiving core, had 4 receptions on 5 targets for 25 yards and scored the first TD of the afternoon which was followed by 6 additional TD’s. Trust me, he will see many more receptions during the remainder of the season as he learns Shanahan’s playbook. Speaking of Shanahan, I am convinced that he is the best play caller in the game. The Panthers’ overly aggressive defense fell for Shanahan’s innovative misdirection plays all day long.
Although the tough part of their schedule is ahead of them, if the Niners go 4-5 or 5-4 in their last remaining games, they would have 11 or 12 wins… quite a departure from their 3 win season just a year ago.