The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Carolina Panthers 23-10 on Sunday, and an important part of the victory was the 49ers depth. An essential story line this season has been the 49ers ability to rotate players in behind Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. The 49ers have gotten solid play from Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs, blunting the effect of Smith and McDonald going off the field. The 49ers were able to shut down the Panthers rushing attack on Sunday, and the defensive line was an essential aspect of it.
The 49ers also had to go to their depth at fullback and cornerback. On his third snap of the game, fullback Will Tukuafu suffered what is being described as a sprained knee. Anthony Dixon came on in his place, and was perfectly respectable at fullback. Given the sprained knee, it seems unlikely Tukuafu will play against the Seahawks. We'll find out more in the coming days, but more than likely, Dixon will get the play.
The 49ers then have to decide how much they'll roll out their traditional 22 sets, and how much we'll see three wide receivers on the field. Quinton Patton got 16 snaps on the day, and finished the game with one catch for 23 yards. Of course, that 23-yard gain came on a 3rd and 10 after Michael Crabtree left the game with a shoulder injury. Crabtree went down hard on his first catch of the game as Captain Munnerlyn dragged him on his shoulder. Patton came on and converted the third down, on a drive that eventually resulted in three points.
At cornerback, Perrish Cox was once again playing the nickel back position. Carlos Rogers has missed the last two games with a strained hamstring. He hasn't practiced since Week 17, so we don't really know if he'll be available for the Seahawks game. I think he'll push it to get out there, but hamstrings are tricky.
- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Breaking down the 49ers win in Carolina and looking ahead to Seattle
- 49ers defeat Panthers: One team looked like it knew what to expect
- 49ers-Panthers final score: Notable stats and performances
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