49ers this week

October 20, 2010

What just happened: It was sloppy on the field and hideous on the eyes, but the 49ers finally won, 17-9, over the Raiders. To think, they held Oakland to no first downs or pass completions for 30-plus minutes - and were still losing 6-3 before the last play of the third quarter. But hey, 0-5 losers can't be choosers.

What's on deck: Pack those bags, because the 49ers launch an 11-day, two-continent trip that begins with Sunday's visit to Carolina. If the 49ers want to end an eight-game road losing streak outside the division, the winless Panthers should be game.

About those Panthers: And you thought the 49ers had issues. Benched quarterback Matt Moore, he with six picks and a 33.3 passer's rating in two starts, is back. Too bad a lousy offensive line is still there waiting for him. At least they didn't lose last week. They had a bye.

Last time: The Trent Dilfer-quarterbacked Niners threw four interceptions, lost two fumbles, and allowed six sacks - and they had the ball for a mere 21:38 - in a 31-14 loss at Carolina on Dec. 2, 2007. That Panthers team, too, had lost five straight.


Player to stop: Running back DeAngelo Williams. His 4.7 yards per carry rank fifth among the NFL's top-20 rushers. Stop the speedy Williams, and his crushing counterpart Jonathan Stewart, and the passing-challenged Panthers are doomed.

On the hot seat: Left tackle Joe Staley. Maybe his shoulder and knee are more hurt than indicated, because Staley is having a tough time protecting quarterback Alex Smith's blindside. Staley is better than he's played. Smith can't play better if Staley doesn't.

He said it: "We've got what we've got. It's where we are. We'll coach who we've got and try to get them better to hopefully get the results we want." - Panthers coach John Fox.

Fines not enough: The NFL will begin suspending players for dangerous hits, starting with this week's games. B8