The San Francisco 49ers didn’t let up in the first half, with an outstanding performance on both sides of the ball. The Panthers were coming into the game off of a bye and four straight wins, but they looked like they didn’t belong on the same field.
San Francisco was dominant in the first half and went into the locker room, up 27-3.
Here are a few quick takeaways after watching that first half:
1. It’s a good day to be named “Emmanuel”
49ers’ wideout Emmanuel Sanders made his name known quickly as he caught a couple of passes on the opening drive of the game, including one for a touchdown. His impact is quickly being felt on the offense, and it looks like he’s going to turn into Garoppolo’s go-to receiver.
On the flip side, corner Emmanuel Moseley really wants the starting corner spot — even when corner Ahkello Witherspoon returns. Moseley had his first career interception against Panthers’ quarterback Kyle Allen.
2. The 49ers’ running attack is back
San Francisco’s rushing attack hasn’t been the same with the injuries to both of their starting tackles and their fullback, but it was back in the first half against the Panthers.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan used running backs Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman to break down the Panthers’ rushing defense in the first half. Coleman ran wild over the Panthers’ defense, gaining 91 yards on just five carries, including two touchdowns.
Breida followed it up with 46 yards and a touchdown himself. 49ers’ rushing attack gained 8.5 yards per attempt, and their running game is officially BACK.
3. San Francisco’s defense is doing a number against running back Christian McCaffrey
The explosive MVP candidate has been the talk of the town the past few weeks, but the 49ers’ defense surely held him in check during the first half.
McCaffrey was able to only manage 21 rushing yards on five attempts, as well as only four receptions for 38 yards. The key coming into the game for San Francisco was to slow him down, and they have been very successful thus far.
The defense only gave up three points in the first half — coming on a short drive off of a Garoppolo interception.