Santa Clara – The Niners made it look to easy, they scored four touchdowns in the first half. Tevin Coleman recorded four touchdowns for the day and Nick Bosa put up historic numbers of his own. The 49ers continue to dominate on both sides of the ball as they cruised to their seventh straight win.
San Francisco dominated the Carolina Panthers 51-13. The Panthers were restricted to two field goals and one touchdown. Kyle Allen was sacked a total of seven times and threw three interceptions. Allen finished 19-for-37 for 158 yards. The 49ers improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1990 and the second time in franchise history.
“They started fast,” said OLB Bruce Irvin. “When you fall behind to a good team like this its hard to come back. Those guys controlled the clock, they ran the ball when they wanted… it was hard for us out there. Our defense? We want to rush and we didn’t get the opportunity to do that today and they took advantage of that.”
The 49ers did control the ball from start to finish. Jimmy Garoppolo connected with newly acquired Emmanuel Sanders for a 4-yard touchdown on Opening Drive. Garoppolo then went deep to George Kittle (who had 6 carries for 86 yards) for 29 yards. A penalty for unnecessary roughness by Tre Boston added an additional 15 yards on that play. That setup Coleman’s first leaping 19-yard touchdown into the end zone, making it a 14-3 game.
By the second quarter, Kyle Allen’s pass intended for Curtis Samuel was intercepted by Emmanuel Moseley and returned for 3 yards. Matt Brieda rushed for 17 yards setting up Coleman’s second touchdown of the day for 10 yards. That extended San Francisco’s lead to 21-3. Allen was sacked in both the first and second quarters by Arik Armstead and D.J. Jones.
“That was a goal of ours first to stop the run,” Armstead said. “Then put some pressure on him [Kyle Allen] and try to rattle him. We were able to put some pressure on him and get to him and that had a big impact on the game.”
The Panthers best opportunity came in the first but they failed to capitalize off the 49ers turnover. On the 49ers second series, Garoppolo’s pass intended for Kittle was intercepted by Luke Kuechly. Carolina struggled against San Francisco’s defense. Armstead’s sack on Allen forced Joey Slye to kick a 41-yard field goal making it a 7-3 in the first quarter. The Panthers did not score the rest of the half.
With two minutes left in the second. Coleman got free of his defender again and rushed for a 48-yard touchdown making it a 27-3 game. The 49ers failed at the two-point conversion. But Bosa sacked Allen back-to-back to end the half. Coleman rushed for 105 yards and had a career-high tying 3 touchdowns on 11 carries. He became the first player in franchise history to register three rushing touchdowns and one reception in the same game.
“The runs, definitely,” said Coleman on what worked for him today. “It was real open. The guys on the O-Line blocked well, tight ends, receivers, they blocked well and they opened up gaps for me.”
Carolina got off to a better start to begin the third quarter, Irvin sacked Garoppolo in the end zone for the safety. Christian McCaffey rushed for a 40-yard touchdown and followed with leaping into the end zone for the two-point conversion making it a 27-13 game. The 49ers responded with their own offensive surge. Garoppolo found Kittle for 25 yards, that setup Deebo Samuel’s 20-yard touchdown, extending the 49ers lead 34-13.
Irvin recorded his second sack on Garoppolo, giving the Panthers great field position. Allen’s intended pass to DJ Moore, by was intercepted by Richard Sherman. A pass interference by former 49er Eric Reid, put San Francisco on the goal line. Coleman rushed in the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the day, 1-yard.
“He’s an incredibly poised player,” Sherman said. He’s everything you could ask for. He’s probably one of the best picks in ten years with just how he’s played and he’s played like this since Day 1.
If it wasn’t for the ankle injury, everyone would’ve saw him early on in the preseason, but he didn’t get to play the preseason. He deserves Player of the Week or Rookie of the Week or Rookie of the Year, everything. If he just kept the stat line as it is right now, he could win Rookie of the Year, but right now, he should be in line for Defensive MVP.”
Late in the fourth, Bosa became a human wrecking machine. He intercepted Allen and rushed for 46 yards knocking defenders out of his way. That setup Robbie Gould’s 20-yard field goal before Raheem Mostert rushed for the teams final touchdown giving them a 51 point lead. Bosa recorded 3 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, four tackles and his first career interception. He joins an elite group (Vikings Kevin Williams and Julius Peppers) as the only rookies to have at least 3 sack and an interception in a single game.
Bosa 3.0 sacks were the most by a member of the 49ers since Aldon Smith recorded 5.5 sacks vs Chicago on Nov 11, 2012. He becomes the second youngest player at 22 since sacks became an official statistic in 1982 to notch 3 or more sacks in a game. Bosa is the sixth player since 1982 to record at least 7 sacks through his first 7 career games. He now ranks 4th in franchise history for the most sacks by a rookie.
“Yeah, I mean, whenever your moves are working really good, it’s just a good feeling,” said Bosa. “Once you get a sack, really it just lets you calm down. I mean, two of those sacks could have been [DL DeForest] Buckner’s easily. We’ve kind of gone back and forth giving each other sacks this year, so I’m lucky to have two interior guys who close the pocket so well.”
“It was pretty damn impressive,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan. “I’m sure when I watch the tape, it’ll look even better. The play that he made on the interception was one of the more impressive plays that I’ve seen from a D-Lineman. Thought he should have scored, but it’s always nice when they don’t and they let the offense score too. So, it was alright.”
Brett Favre visited the 49ers locker room after their win.