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Panthers defense brought the pressure against the 49ers

The Panthers were determined to pressure the QB

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Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Here’s more PFF grades from the defensive side of the ball in the Panthers win over the 49ers. Of course it starts up front with DT KK Short.

While defensive tackle Kawaan Short didn’t record a sack Sunday, he made sure San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer felt his presence. Short’s three hurries and one hit resulted in a pass rush productivity of 9.1, which ranked fourth among 4-3 defensive tackles. Pass Rush Productivity measures pressure on per snap basis with weighting towards sacks.

I’m pretty sure DT Star Lotulelei had a good grade on the day as well. He had three stops, half a sack and a fumble recovery.

Linebacker Thomas Davis led the charge for the Panthers’ defense Sunday. The 34-year-old had three stops against the pass and three stops against the run. He was fourth among NFL linebackers with a run-stop percentage of 20.0. Run-stop percentage is the percentage of a player’s run defense snaps where he was responsible for a stop.

TD is just amazing. His sack might have been the easiest of his career.

Check out Wes Horton. He walloped the QB with a first quarter sack that set the tone.

Defensive end Wes Horton had a pass rush productivity of 16.7, which was tied for the third-highest rate among 4-3 defensive ends. All three of his total pressures came from the right side.

With Horton playing well that makes our DE rotation pretty lethal.

Four of the Panthers’ five sacks Sunday occurred when they sent five pass rushers. Overall, seven of their 14 total pressures occurred when they blitzed.

We had a nice distribution of sacks: one each from LBs Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson, one and half from DE Horton and Julius Peppers and a half from DT Lotulelei.

Lastly, there is a QB lesson to be learned here:

Inside linebacker Luke Kuechly allowed four catches for 32 yards and had an interception on the five targets thrown into his coverage. Quarterback Brian Hoyer registered a passer rating of 53.8 when throwing into Kuechly’s coverage.

Kuechly’s INT was one of the most athletic INTs I’ve seen, the body control he demonstrated to pick off that ball.

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images