Denver vs San Diego NFL Handicapping
Who would have thought that after a 1-3 start, the Carolina Panthers would be battling it out for the top spot in the NFC South.
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When: Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 at 4:05 p.m. EST
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California
LINE: +4 (49ers), O/U 43
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The Panthers arrive in San Francisco on Sunday, riding a four-game win streak, looking to make it five against a 49ers team that continues roll past opponents on its way to a second straight division title.
Carolina’s (5-3) offense has finally shifted into high gear behind one of the NLF’s rising elite quarterbacks. Cam Newton has led the Panthers to four straight wins by 15 points or more while topping 30 points in five of the past six.
After a pedestrian start, Newton has flourished, completing 64 percent of his passes for 1,801 yards and 13 touchdowns, while rushing for 251 yards and four scores.
Defensively, Carolina is stingy, ranking second in the league against the run and 10th versus the pass, while as a unit the Panthers defense has forced at least one turnover in every game and have recorded three or more takeaways four times.
But as good as Carolina is, they won’t be the hottest team in the stadium on Sunday, as San Francisco is riding a five-game win streak as they come off a bye week
The defending NFC champions (6-2) have been dominating opponents, despite ranking last in the league in passing.
That’s because their offense is fueled by a dangerous rushing attack, led by dual threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Frank Gore.
Together they have rolled up nearly 1,000 yards, placing San Francisco at the top of the heap in rushing yards per game, with 153.
Meanwhile, the defense has been solid against the run and the pass and has forced 13 turnovers the past five games. They have allowed 145 points (18.1 PPG), ranking fourth in the league.
Matt’s Free Prediction
Carolina has won the past three meetings, including a 23-20 victory in the most recent contest in 2010 and a 37-27 win in their last trip to San Francisco in 2004.
The 49ers may be without Gore in this one, as he is listed probable for Sunday’s game battling an ankle injury.
This meeting pits two potent rushing attacks and hard-hitting defenses.
I like the spread as games like this tend to be close and points come at a premium.
49ers 27, Panthers 23