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  • Writer's pictureCole A. McMahon

Niners Take on Casualties in Big Win

By: Cole A. McMahon

(Via Instagram: @49ers)

An elite 49ers’ defense stuffs Carolina to 15 points while the Niners’ offense starts to find its stride with an efficient Jimmy Garoppolo.

This week’s win against the Panthers brought back flashbacks to the 49ers’ win against Carolina in 2019 when they put up 51 points and RB Tevin Coleman had himself a big day. The 49ers put up big points against the Carolina Panthers winning 37-15. The Niners’ defense scored points again as the result of a Pick-6 by Emmanuel Moseley. However, this win was diluted by the injuries suffered throughout the game.

-Jimmie Ward fractured his hand in his first snap back from the IR. Although the 49ers’ safeties have been under control with Hufanga and Gipson at the reigns, Ward’s presence will be missed yet again for an unknown amount of time.

-Robbie Gould suffered a left knee contusion late in the game after making a second tackle on a kickoff return. The good news is that his right knee was not the one to get injured. The bad news is if Gould is not healthy for Week 6, the Niners have to sign another kicker which is always a big blow.

-Nick Bosa left the game early with a groin injury which Shanahan clarified after the game to be groin tightness. The 49ers’ D-line has already had to play without Armstead and Kinlaw. If Bosa is out next week, this D-line will have to step up big time for all the talent that is missing.

-Emmanuel Moseley suffered the biggest injury of last night which is confirmed to be an ACL injury that will keep Moseley out for the rest of the year. Moseley has had an excellent start to the year paired up with Charvarius Ward and denying receivers each week. His presence was made again when Moseley picked off Baker Mayfield and took it to the house. For the second week in a row, the Niners have had a Pick 6. This is the biggest blow for this Niners’ defense because of how lockdown this secondary has been. The Niners will look to replace “Emman” with potential cornerback candidates: Samuel Womack, Ambry Thomas, Dontae Johnson (practice squad), and Jason Verrett (IR).

On the lighter side of things, the 49ers’ defense held its own against Christian McCaffrey and the run game, only allowing 64 total rushing yards. The pressure was put on the Panthers’ quarterbacks as the Niners’ racked up six sacks for the day. Dre Greenlaw once again led the defense with 11 tackles on the day, building a case for a Pro Bowl year. Through four weeks, the Niners’ defense has been able to dominate offenses, and going into Week 6 they will have to do it again with less manpower. The depth of this defense will begin to get tested especially when the Niners face the Chiefs two weeks from now.

The 49ers’ offense was rolling smoothly the entire game starting with its first drive that ended on a 9-yard screen pass to Tevin Coleman for a touchdown. Jeff Wilson Jr. had a big day with 120 rushing yards and scoring a touchdown. He found holes multiple times breaking through for big gains. The run game is something you always want to see operating well for this Niners team.

For the passing game, Jimmy G had himself a solid day hitting targets downfield and throwing for 263 yards with two touchdown passes in Sunday’s win. One highlighted play was a pass to Coleman on the sideline where Jimmy stood in the pocket and got lit up by a defender. Garoppolo showed aggressiveness and confidence in his decisions and was a big factor in Sunday’s win. That is the type of Jimmy G that the Niners will hope to see throughout the course of the season. George Kittle, on his birthday, even caught some passes as he was utilized more than in previous games. The more you give Kittle the ball, the more you will see the offense thrive.

Left tackle is the biggest concern for the offense because of the inexperienced third-stringer Jaylon Moore. It is crucial for Trent Williams to make a speedy recovery because defenses will continue to attack the left side of the line, putting a hole in the entire offense.

The offense that was displayed on Sunday is something that began to blossom in the Rams game and fully came out against the Panthers. Garoppolo finally looks comfortable and the 49ers will start to rely more on this offense because of some of the injuries sustained on the other side of the ball. The defense cannot keep the Niners in games every week.

The 49ers face the Atlanta Falcons next week; a big game where they hope to improve to 4-2. That will ideally put them in a good spot when they face the Chiefs in an anticipated Super Bowl rematch at home.

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