Niners Live enters the season-opening week in vintage Niners Live fashion with hits that will re-arrange your whole set and I got a Colin Kaepernick article I haven’t even dropped yet, no pun intended, of course; The Youth Movement under John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan; Pregame Marque Match-ups and Storylines to watch vs. The Carolina Panthers. And now it’s time to put the nail in the coffin: The 49ers must hit Cam Newton early and often with “Extreme Violence.”
Lowlights, the defensive recap (2016)
Here’s a snapshot of how the 49ers’ defense fared against the Carolina Panthers’ offense overall statistically last season: 49ers defense gave up 17 points in the first half, second half gave up 29 points; totaling 529 yards, 46 points, 176 rushing at 4.8 yards a carry and 353 passing at 8.6 yards a pass play, along with giving up 26 first downs all led by former MVP Cam Newton.
The Panthers were able to run 78 plays against the 49ers defense while controlling the time of possession battle 35:54 to 49ers 24:06; advantage, Panthers. Also, Panthers were 3 out of 5 in the red zone, the 49ers? One out of three (via ESPN.com).
Lowlights, the offensive recap (2016)
Here’s a snapshot of how the 49ers’ offense fared against Carolina Panthers’ defense overall statistically last season: 49ers running game totaled 65 yards, 2.5 a carry. Carlos Hyde totaled 34 yards at 2.4 yards a carry. Also, Hyde committed a fumble and the offense only accounted for 16 first downs.
Former 49ers’ starting QB Blaine Gabbert’s game statistics: completed 17 of 36 for 243 passing yards at 6.8 yards a pass play, a passer rating of 64.9 percent to go with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Gabbert completed 47.2 percent of his passes against the Panthers and went 4-14 on third down.
Former 49ers’ wide receivers: didn’t make a dent or impact in this blowout defeat at the hands of the Panthers 46 to 27, in fact— Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley, Quinton Patton, and Rod Streater all combined for 10 catches and 122 yards with one touchdown coming from Smith.
Panther Party: James Brown, it’s time for the Big Pay Back
This Sunday at Levi’s Stadium on the team’s home turf, it’s all about revenge and the Big Pay Back. Can you say pride check? The 49ers must play inspired football with unmatched passion and a sense of urgency, something last year’s team lacked when they squared off against the Panthers. Well, out with the old, and in with the new. Fast forward to 2017 and papa’s got a brand new bag of players under the new regime of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch who have turned this roster over tremendously with an influx of young players, adequate free agents and promising draft picks.
The 49ers must atone for last year’s shellacking with conviction and authority and make revenge served on a red and gold platter that much sweeter.
The 49ers must hit Cam Newton early and often with “Extreme Violence”
The 49ers’ defense last season could only manufacture one sack and three QB hits on Newton and if you’ve been reading this article so far, that didn’t even penetrate the man of steel or slow his game down In fact, the rubber felt hits bounce right off him as he accounted for nearly 400 yards of offense himself, running and passing combined.
Role call, violent disruptors: DeForest Buckner , Arik Armstead , Earl Mitchell , Tank Carradine , Elvis Dumervil , Solomon Thomas, Navarro Bowman , Reuben Foster , Eli Harold , Jaquiski Tartt and Eric Reid: Newton must be stopped at all costs.
This past preseason game in the “dress rehearsal” against the Minnesota Vikings the 49ers generated eight QB hits and four sacks. If the 49ers want to have any luck at stopping or even slowing the Cam Newton led Carolina Panthers down to come out with a win, they must carry that defensive performance and momentum as aforementioned and hit Newton early and often with “Extreme Violence.”
The Nail in the Coffin
Cam Newton is coming off shoulder surgery this past off-season and only threw two passes in the preseason. The 49ers need to test the waters and go out and hit the bully in the mouth/shoulder and see if he blinks or if he’s ready to go “toe-to-toe” or “mano a mano”, if you will. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has preached the theme all offseason and up to this point about playing with “Extreme Violence”. Well, the time is now.
Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims