At one point the Carolina Panthers and the 49’ers both had promising seasons, but when they meet Sunday at Bank of America Stadium, the game will be fought mostly for pride. The Niners were 2-0, then dropped eight straight before finally pulling out a crazy overtime win last Sunday in Glendale vs the Cardinals. The Panthers were 4-2 after a win on 10/14, but since have lost five in a row, three of the five at home, where they have yet to win this season.
For the Panthers, they should have quarterback Vinny Testaverde back in the fold, as he has been pushed to probable on the injury report. As long as he does not have a relapse like last week when he showed up to practice Saturday with a stiff back, Vinny should get the start over Matt Moore and David Carr. While he has not exactly been great, he’s better than Moore and Carr, so that’s a good thing for the Panthers. Look for Carolina to establish the run against the leagues 24th ranked defense. Despite SF having the leagues worst offense, keeping them off the field will establish their chances of a win.
The 9’ers came alive last week, scoring 37 points in a win. Considering they only had scored 35 points in the four losses previous to Sunday, their 37 points reall came out of nowhere. They are hoping for another big day from Frank Gore, who put up a big game vs the Cards, and Trent Dilfer, who threw the ball well. If Gore can go over 100 yards and Dilfer can avoid the big mistakes, the 9’ers look like they might be able to win their third road game of the year.
Overall, the 49’ers are a team that has been raveged by injuries, as have the Panthers. San Fran is a bit better coming in, and while this game is in the Panthers home park, the Niners will squeak out a close ugly win to improve to 4-8.