If you are one of the people that believe defensive struggles are boring, you need to go back and watch today’s incredible match up between the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers. It was a hard-nosed game that the defenses dominated, but the plays each defense was making kept everyone entertained.
San Francisco was able to march out to a 9-0 lead thanks to some early mistakes from the Panthers, but Carolina was able to buckle down and make the plays they needed on both sides of the ball to make the game interesting late.
Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams was able to score a big 17-yard run to put the Lions right back in the game, before Graham Gano booted a 53-yard field goal to give the Panthers a 10-9 lead with ten minutes remaining. And that was all they needed.
The Carolina defense was on a roll against San Francisco, as they showed why they are the only team in the NFL that is ranked in the top ten both in pass defense and rush defense.
Carolina’s pass defense was able to hold Colin Kaepernick to under 50 yards passing (46, to be exact) as they forced a game-ending interception to put the game away. When the final whistle blew, the Panthers defense had forced two turnovers and six sacks.
If there were any doubts that the Panthers were for real, they should be erased now.