Panthers Blitz

By the numbers: Panthers vs. 49ers​

Posted September 10
Updated September 16

— The Carolina Panthers open the 2017 season on the road Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (FOX 50, 99.9 FM The Fan), taking a cross-country trek to visit the San Francisco 49ers in Levi’s Stadium.

Carolina defeated the 49ers last season, a 46-27 victory at home and the team’s first win of the 2016 campaign.

The Niners will be led by a familiar foe, former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who was hired to replace Chip Kelly as head coach.

Here’s a look at the significant numbers between the Panthers and 49ers leading up to Sunday’s Week 1 matchup:


Cam Newton has no restrictions in Week 1 after rehabbing from offseason surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. Newton sustained the injury in Week 14 last season, but started the remaining three games.

The former league MVP played in only one drive of the preseason. He completed two passes for 21 yards and a touchdown pass – a 12-yard dump down to rookie Christian McCaffrey, and a nine-yard strike to Kelvin Benjamin for his lone score of the preseason.

Newton posted his best statistical performance last season against San Francisco, finishing 24 of 40 for 353 yards and four touchdowns. He also posted a season high 111.8 quarterback rating.


Four players on the 49ers roster played college football in North Carolina:

Ronald Blair III, DT - Appalachian State
Daniel Kilgore, C – Appalachian State
Dontae Johnson, CB – NC State
Laken Tomlinson, OL – Duke

*49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan attended Duke for one season but transferred to Texas after his redshirt freshman season.


The Panthers and 49ers have met in only four games since Carolina exited the NFC West to join the NFC South in 2001:

Nov. 14, 2004: Panthers 37, 49ers 27
Dec. 2, 2007: Panthers 31, 49ers 14
Oct. 24, 2010: Panthers 23, 49ers 20

Nov. 10, 2013: Panthers 10, 49ers 9
Sept. 18, 2016: Panthers 46, 49ers 27

*Bold indicates Panthers home games


The Panthers have never played the 49ers in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium, but Carolina has posted a 4-1 record over its last five road games against San Francisco.

Oct. 17, 1999: Panthers 31, 49ers 29
Sept. 10, 2000: Panthers 38, 49ers 22
Oct. 7, 2001: Panthers 14, 49ers 24

Nov. 14, 2004: Panthers 37, 49ers 27
Nov. 10, 2013: Panthers 10, 49ers 9

*Bold indicates NFC West division matchups


The former NFC West foes will meet for the 21st time on Sunday. Carolina holds the all-time advantage, 12-8. The Panthers have won the last five straight regular season games.


Rookie Christian McCaffrey will be making his NFL regular season debut on Sunday against the 49ers.

The former Stanford Cardinal was selected No. 8 overall by Carolina in the 2017 NFL Draft. McCaffrey tallied 6,987 all-purpose yards at Stanford, including an NCAA record 3,864 yards during his junior campaign.

McCaffrey, who played primarily running back during the preseason, totaled 632 rushing attempts for 3,922 yards and 21 touchdowns during his career at Stanford.


Panthers All-Pro tight end Greg Olsen is ranked among the best at his position annually, but the Pro Bowler has a chance to further climb the ladder of the all-time greats.

Olsen has totaled 7,365 yards receiving for his career, which is only 47 yards shy of tying former tight end Pete Retzlaff for seventh on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list. Olsen has a chance to pass Ozzie Newsome, Jackie Smith and Retzlaff if he posts another 1,000-yard season.


Sunday will mark the first time Carolina has played a game at Levi’s Stadium since Super Bowl 50, where the Panthers fell 24-10 to the Denver Broncos.

The Panthers are 1-0 when returning to venues of previous Super Bowl appearances.


San Francisco struggled mightily in many facets of the game last season, but one area where they excelled was the running game. The 49ers ranked fourth in the league with an average of 126.2 rushing yards per game with an average of 4.4 yards per attempt.

Carolina, which prides itself on a strong running game, finished last season ranked No. 10 with an average of 113.4 yards per game.


Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart ranks second on Carolina’s all-time rushing list, but the former All-Pro needs only 209 yards for the top spot.

Former Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams remains the Panthers’ leader with 6,846 rushing yards.

Stewart is also only two touchdowns shy of passing Williams for third all-time in Panthers touchdowns.

For the latest Carolina Panthers news, follow WRAL Sports Fan's Panthers Blitz blog and the Panther Blitz Podcast.


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