With the 2013 season in the rear-view mirror, CatCrave.com has football withdrawals at epic levels right now. Training camp is still just under a month away, so why not look back at last season’s schedule and pick out the five greatest games from 2013 for our beloved Carolina Panthers. I need my football fix!
#3 – Week 10: November 10th at San Francisco 49ers
When the surging Panthers collided with the equally as hot 49ers in the City by the Bay, we got an old-fashioned grudge match. Two of the league’s premier defenses battling two of the league’s rising star quarterbacks. What it lacked in points scored, it made up for in sporting competition.
Three first half field goals by the 49ers gave them an early 9-0 lead, as the Panthers squandered away a few opportunities. Cam Newton wasn’t getting a lot of time to throw the ball, but his confidence would not be rattled. Despite throwing for only 169 yards and one interception, Cam showed a lot of maturation in this game.
He was hurried all day, he only gained 15 yards on 8 carries, and the offense just couldn’t move the ball. Our running game was equally as frustrated as none of our running backs could gain any yardage.
That was true, until just before halftime.
DeAngelo Williams vaulted the Panthers onto the scoreboard with his beautiful 27-yard touchdown run as the first half came to a close. It was classic D-Lo, as he took the rock, cut back to the weak side, and outran defenders for the score. It was just the injection of life the Panthers’ squad needed after a rough first half.
Williams’ score also relieved the defense from having no support for all of their hard work in the first half.
This hard work included making Colin Kaepernick look like a rag doll fearing for his life. Several plays, Kaepernick looked like a lost little boy seeking refuge, but finding hungry Panthers. The Panthers’ defense sacked Kaepernick six times during the game, but there could’ve been several more. He was hurried, bumped, hit, chased and knocked around for 60 minutes on this glorious day.
Our secondary did a phenomenal job locking down all of the Niners’ receivers to a total net of 46 yards gained through the air. Frank Gore and the ground game fared better, but the secondary of Carolina ensured that all of the hard work that the front seven put forth was not lost.
Dwan Edwards had two sacks on the day, “Big Money” had 1.5 sacks and A.J. Klein recorded his first sack of his career. The black and blue defense truly played one of its’ best games of the season, and on the road against the defending NFC Champions.
The 49ers defense held us in check for most of the game and definitely brought their “A-game”, but could not oust us. They also lost Vernon Davis early in the game due to a concussion.
This game was truly a classic smashmouth game of football at Candlestick Park.
I remember coming into this week, we were the underdog. Yes, we had won five-out-of-six games, but San Francisco was equally as hot. Some experts expected the 49ers to walk all over us and put us back in our place amongst the NFC wolfpack.
Not on this November day. We came in prepared, and slugged it out until we were left standing victorious. Yardage stats didn’t matter. Touchdown celebrations and trickery was not in the equation for either side. What was in store was a relenting onslaught by our defense.
That last drive for San Francisco was beautiful. An offense that moved backward, unable to break through our defense. When the game was sealed by Drayton Florence‘s interception, a statement was made. A shot to the rest of the NFL that the Carolina Panthers were for real and can hang with any team put in front of them.