The San Francisco 49ers improved to 3-2 with their 37-15 rout of the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon. The victory is the team's first road win of the season and puts San Francisco on top of the NFC West standings heading into their Week 6 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. The win, however, was a costly one with cornerback Emmanuel Moseley going down with a knee injury late in the fourth quarter. Per head coach Kyle Shanahan, he suffered a season-ending ACL tear.
San Francisco's defense continued to dominate for a fifth-straight week, and the offense put together their best showing of 2022 thus far. To open up the game, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led the 49ers on a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped off by a nine-yard pass to Tevin Coleman to get on the board. The running back added another score on the ground in the late fourth quarter. Including Coleman's final touchdown, San Francisco reached the end zone three times in the second half. Jeff Wilson Jr. had 17 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown, and Deebo Samuel added another score through the air.
The defensive had a second-straight game with a pick-six. Moseley intercepted Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield in the second quarter and returned the ball 41 yards for his first-career touchdown. The defense also followed up their 7.0 sack performance versus the Los Angeles Rams with another 6.0 sack outing against Carolina.
Here are San Francisco's top performers from Week 5:
The wide receiver locked up the top offensive grade for his Week 5 performance, earning an 83.6 rating. The third-year wide receiver caught three passes for 58 yards on four targets. Jennings was a close second in the offensive ratings coming in at 81.6 for his two catches for 45 yards and earning praise from the 49ers starting quarterback.
"He's dangerous when he gets the ball in his hands," Garoppolo said when asked about Jennings potential to be a 'wideback.' "I was telling some of the guys, 'We've got to just get him the ball in his hands,' doesn't matter how we do it. He's kind of a third down specialist right now. He makes those big plays, and they just can't tackle him. He's a big body out there and he runs with purpose."
Top Defensive Performer: Charvarius Ward (Mooney Ward)
"49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward had an elite game against this struggling Panthers passing attack," Sam Monson of PFF wrote in his game breakdown. "Ward was thrown at six times, allowing one catch for 32 yards. He had four forced incompletions overall."
Ward was brought in to bolster the 49ers defense, and he has done just that through these first five weeks of the regular season. Against the Panthers, the veteran cornerback earned a 90.6 overall grade after recording a career-high four pass breakups and three tackles. Ward's big play of the night was a third quarter pass breakup in Carolina's end zone. Linebacker Fred Warner sacked Mayfield on the ensuing play, and the Panthers were forced to settle for a field goal.