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San Francisco 49ers @ Carolina Panthers: A Prospector's Guide

49ers_logo_medium vs. Th_panthers_icon_medium

Anybody else remember back in the 90s when the 49ers and Panthers had a budding rivalry? The Panthers jumped into contention in a fairly short amount of time after coming into the league as an expansion team and they gave the 49ers all sorts of trouble. Fast forward to last year's Panthers Watch and we're once again rooting for Panthers losses.

This is a game that the 49ers really should win, but given the 49ers varying performances this year, who really knows what will happen. It seems fairly certain at this point that our 49ers will remain a tough team to figure out from week to week. We know the general formula the 49ers need to succeed but it's a matter of the team consistently putting that formula together. Throw in the often treacherous 10am pacific start time and who knows what will happen. Coach Singletary has indicated the 49ers will use the practice schedule they used for the Falcons game, so hopefully that's a difference-maker.

Once again I've attached a prediction poll. Head after the jump for random tidbits about this matchup.

The 49ers travel to Charlotte, NC, to face the Carolina Panthers in what will be the 17th meeting between the two clubs. Carolina holds a slight advantage over the Niners by leading the overall series 9-7, but San Francisco has a .500 record on the road vs. the Panthers (4-4). The Niners have won two of the past four meetings against Carolina, securing a win at home and on the road in those victories.

San Francisco captured its first victory of the season by defeating the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park, 17-9. After trailing 6-3 at halftime, the 49ers scored 14 points in the second half to defeat the Raiders. QB Alex Smith connected with WR Michael Crabtree late in the 3rd quarter on a 32-yard TD recept. to give the 49ers its first lead of the game. The TD reception for Crabtree was his second in as many weeks. RB Frank Gore rushed for 149 yds. in that game, passing RB Ken Willard to move into third place on the franchise's all-time rushing leaders list with 6,032 yds. Gore also moved into 5th place in all-time scrimmage yds. with 8,147 yds. by again passing RB Ken Willard.

49ers-Raiders Panthers Connections
49ers head coach Mike Singletary was a member of the Chicago Bears while Panthers tight ends/offensive quality control coach Geep Chryst was in a similar role in Chicago from 1991-92. Chryst also coached with 49ers wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan and tight ends coach Pete Hoener while the two were with the Arizona Cardinals from 2001-03, and with 49ers quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson while the two were with the San Diego Chargers in 2000.

- 49ers tight ends coach Pete Hoener coached with Panthers secondary coach Ron Milus and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert while the three were with the Arizona Cardinals during the 2003 season.

- 49ers wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan coached with Panthers head coach John Fox while with the San Diego Chargers from 1992-93. Sullivan also coached with Panthers defensive line coach Brian Baker with the Detroit Lions from 1997-2000.

- 49ers secondary coach Johnnie Lynn, Panthers head coach John Fox, Panthers assistant head coach/running backs coach Jim Skipper, and Panthers secondary coach Mike Gillhamer all coached together while with the New York Giants from 1997-2000.

- 49ers asst. offensive line coach Ray Brown coached with Panthers wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert while with the Buffalo Bills from 2008-09.

- Panthers special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers served as the 49ers special teams quality control coach from 2003-07.

- Panthers linebackers coach Richard Smith served as the 49ers linebackers coach from 1997-02. Smith also coached with 49ers special teams coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer while the two were with the Detroit Lions during the 2003 season.

- 49ers equipment manager Steve Urbaniak graduated from East Carolina University, in 1998. Urbaniak helped the Pirates reach consecutive Libery Bowls as a punter before spending two years at the student manager.

PANTHERS-NORCAL CONNECTIONS: Panthers assistant head coach/running backs coach Jim Skipper was the head coach for the XFL's San Francisco Demons in 2001 ... Panthers secondary coach Mike Gillhamer broke into coaching as a defensive line coach at the College of the Sequuoias from 1979-83. He also was the defensive backs coach at San Jose State from 1990-93 ... Panthers linebackers coach Richard Smith served as the outside linebackers coach/special teams at Cal from 1984-86.

49ERS-CAROLINA CONNECTIONS: 49ers QB David Carr played in 6 games (4 starts) for the Panthers during the 2007 season ... 49ers K Joe Nedney played in 12 games for the Panthers during the 2000 season ... 49ers CB Phillip Adams is a native of Charlotte, N.C.

FORMER 49ERS: Panthers P Jason Baker played 27 games for the 49ers from 2001-02 ... Panthers S Marcus Hudson was a 6th round (192nd overall) draft pick by the 49ers in 2006. He played in 48 games for San Francisco from 2006- 09.

SIC ‘EM BEARS - 49ers WR Dominique Zeigler and Panthers CB C.J. Wilson were teammates at Baylor from 2003-05.

BAYOU BENGALS - 49ers DT Ricky Jean Francois, S Curtis Taylor, and Panthers WR Brandon LaFell were all teammates at LSU from 2006-08.

THE "U" - 49ers RB Frank Gore and Panthers LB Jon Beason were teammates at the University of Miami during the 2003 season.

RUNNIN' REBELS - 49ers LB Patrick Willis and Panthers DE Greg Hardy were teammates at the University of Mississippi during the 2006 season.

PART OF THE "PACK" - 49ers LB Manny Lawson and Panthers S Marcus Hudson were teammates at N.C. State University from 2002-04.

O-H-I-0! - 49ers CB Nate Clements and Panthers CB Chris Gamble patrolled the corners of the Ohio State defense together from 2001-02.

HERE COME THE BEAVERS - 49ers LB Keaton Kristick and Panthers QB Matt Moore were teammates while the two were at Oregon State University during the 2006 season.

QUACK ATTACK - 49ers T Adam Snyder was a teammate of Panthers TE Dante Rosario and T Geoff Schwartz at the University of Oregon during the 2004 season.

SOONER SCHOONER- 49ers S Reggie Smith and Panthers LB Nic Harris patrolled the Oklahoma backfield from 2005-07.

PANTHER PRIDE - 49ers TE Nate Byham and Panthers T Jeff Otah were teammates at Pitt from 2006-07.

TROJAN TIES - 49ers S Taylor Mays, G Chilo Rachal, and Panthers C Ryan Kalil were all teammates at USC during the 2006 season.

HELLO HOKIES - 49ers WR Josh Morgan, Panthers WR David Clowney, and TE Jeff King all lined up together for Virginia Tech from 2004-05

Series Highlights
Matchups: 16
Series Record: Panthers lead series 9-7
49ers Away Record vs. Panthers: Tied 4-4
First Meeting: 11/5/95, Panthers win, 13-7
Last Meeting: 12/2/07, Panthers win, 31-14
Current Streak: Lost 2
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 4 (9/29/97-12/6/98)
Longest Panthers Win Streak: 4 (10/17/99-10/22/00)
Most 49ers Points: 44 (9/5/94), 44-14, at Carolina
Most Panthers Points: 41 (12/18/99), 31-24, at Carolina
49ers Shutouts: None
Panthers Shutouts
: None

At Charlotte, NC, December 2, 2007

The Carolina Panthers converted 6 49ers turnovers into 17 points in a 31-14 victory over the visiting San Francisco 49ers. After jumping to a 17-0 first half lead, the 49ers stormed back into the game with TD drives on their first 2 possessions in the second half to close to 17-14. The 49ers had the momentum and were in position to get the ball back after forcing the Panthers to punt from their own 30-yard line.

WR Michael Lewis muffed a punt, and Carolina recovered at the San Francisco 11-yd. line to set up a Carolina TD for a 24-14 lead. Carolina converted 4, 3rd-downs to get in position for their final TD in the 4th quarter to seal the 31-14 win. Despite throwing 2 TD passes in the 3rd quarter, QB Trent Dilfer was intercepted 4 times, including a 2nd quarter pass that was returned 67 yards for a TD. Carolina sacked Dilfer 6 times, and limited the 49ers to just 12 first downs and 195 total yds. of offense.

Carolina took a 3-0 lead in the 1st quarter after a WR Arnaz Battle fumble allowed a drive to start at midfield. Carolina increased their lead to 10-0 with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a QB Vinny Testaverde 5-yard touchdown pass to TE Dante Rosario. Panthers CB Richard Marshall intercepted a Dilfer pass on the next series and returned it 67 yards for a score and a 17-0 lead. S Michael Lewis intercepted a Testaverde pass at the Carolina 38-yard line on the first series of the second half, and Dilfer took advantage of the key field position with a 20-yard TD pass to Battle to get the 49ers on the score board.

San Francisco's defense stopped the Panthers on the next series, and a 41-yard punt return by CB Nate Clements gave the 49ers a first down at the Carolina 35-yard line. Two plays later, Dilfer fired a 21-yard TD pass to TE Delanie Walker to make it a 3-point game at 17-14. The 49ers defense stopped Carolina on 3 straight plays on the ensuing drive, but the Lewis muffed punt set up a Carolina score and a 10-point Panthers lead. Rookie LB Patrick Willis followed a record-setting performance with 21 tackles at Arizona a week earlier with a team-leading 18 total tackles against the Panthers.

2010 Statistics

49ERS (rank) PANTHERS (rank)
1-5 (4th NFCW) Record 0-5 (4th NFCS)
15.5 (30th) Points per game 10.4 (32nd)
317.7 (19th) Total Offense 317.7 (19th)
91.2 (t-27th) Rushing Offense 99.6 (20th)
226.5 (15th) Passing Offense 136.4 (32nd)
29:55 (18th) Possession Avg 25:54 (31st)
23.2 (t-24th) Points allowed/gm 22.0 (20th)
312.3 (10th) Total Defense 316.8 (12th)
111.2 (20th) Rushing Defense 134.4 (26th)
201.2 (11th) Passing Defense 182.4 (5th)
12 (t-13th) Sacks 7 (t-27th)
45.2 (t-4th) Punting Avg (Gross) 43.6 (9th)
-8 (32nd) Turnover Differential -4 (t-27th)