Newton sacked five times, still leads Panthers past Rams


Newton sacked five times, still leads Panthers past Rams

LOS ANGELES — Cam Newton persevered through five sacks to pass for 225 yards and a touchdown, and the Carolina Panthers' defense shut down Los Angeles in a 13-10 victory over the slumping Rams on Sunday.

Greg Olsen caught a touchdown pass in the first half and Graham Gano added two fourth-quarter field goals for the Panthers (3-5), who won their second straight after a four-game skid. Newton's offense managed just 244 yards against the Rams' vaunted defense, but the Panthers nearly shut out Los Angeles in a defense-dominated game.

Case Keenum passed for 296 yards for the Rams (3-5), who have lost four straight after a strong start to their homecoming season. Los Angeles' scoreless streak reached 102 minutes, 12 seconds before Greg Zuerlein's 25-yard field goal with 8:01 to play.

Kenny Britt then made a 10-yard touchdown catch with 34 seconds to play, but Zuerlein curiously quick-kicked the kickoff far down the field, essentially ending the game.

Newton went 20 for 32 and took his share of big hits again after his complaints about the NFL's commitment to player safety dominated headlines last week. The star quarterback spoke with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to voice his worries.

Newton went down from a violent sack by Mark Barron in the third quarter, and he was downed for two important sacks by star defensive lineman Aaron Donald.

The Coliseum crowd chanted "We want Goff!" during the first half of another dispiriting offensive performance in the Rams' return from their bye week. No. 1 pick Jared Goff remained on the bench even after Keenum threw his eighth interception in four games to Thomas Davis, killing a solid drive in the second half.

Neither team managed much production in a defense-dominated first half, combining to miss three long field goals and getting just seven first downs apiece. Olsen scored the only touchdown on a 9-yard catch .

Keenum went 27 for 46 for the Rams, who hadn't scored a touchdown in 115 minutes, 41 seconds before Britt's grab.


The Rams' offensive slump reached another valley. Los Angeles failed to score in the final 50 minutes of its loss to the Giants in London before the bye, and it played three more scoreless quarters against Carolina.

The Rams finally got moving in the fourth, but Lance Kendricks dropped a sure touchdown pass from Keenum at the goal line on third down, forcing a field goal.


Todd Gurley had 48 yards in another quiet game, although he broke his longest run of the season for 18 yards out of the wildcat in the first half. Last season's offensive rookie of the year watched the Rams' final series from the sideline while Benny Cunningham played.


After a series of missed throws by Keenum, the "We want Goff!" chant began in the west end zone and spread around the stadium during the second quarter. The Rams still haven't used their franchise QB, even after Goff got extra time with the Rams' first-team offense during their bye.


Rams CB Trumaine Johnson returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sprained ankle. ... Rams DB Lamarcus Joyner left in the first half with an oblique muscle injury, but returned in the second half. ... Carolina S Colin Jones was ruled out with a concussion early in the second half.


Panthers: Host Chiefs on Sunday.

Rams: At Jets on Sunday.

Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter


Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter

Terrell Owens has selected former 49ers special teams and wide receivers coach George Stewart as his presenter into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He knew what to get out of me,” Owens told the Hall of Fame.

“He knows who I am. To know who Terrell Owens is, you have to spend some time with him. . . George Stewart became a father figure to me.”

Owens was elected into the Hall of Fame in February. He will enter the Hall of Fame in a class that also includes wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, and contributor Bobby Beathard.

Owens played special teams under Stewart’s direction as a rookie after coming to the 49ers in 1996.

From 2000 to ’02, Stewart worked as the 49ers’ wide receivers coach. Owens was selected to three consecutive All-Pro teams and Pro Bowls during that time. Owens ranks No. 2 all time behind Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards. He is third all-time with 153 receiving touchdowns.

Stewart is set to enter his 30th NFL season as an assistant coach and his second as special-teams coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear


Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear

Safety Eric Reid, who has 69 career starts and one Pro Bowl appearance in his five-year NFL career, remains available on the open market more than a week after the opening of free agency.

Reid has received no reported interest from NFL teams in what has been an unusually soft market for free-agent safeties. But, with Reid, there is another variable that could be playing a factor.

Reid was at the forefront of the social activism that has been a major storyline in the NFL since the beginning of the 2016 season. Reid and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in America.

Reid has remained outspoken and has taken a knee as a way to “make people uncomfortable about the issues.” Reid has been clear his protest has nothing to do with the flag or the anthem.

“The anthem is just a vehicle to get us to have those conversations,” Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area last season. “It’s the platform we have. It’s the only time we have to get the eyeballs on us to do that. If we just did locker-room talks afterward, nobody would even know. Strategically, this is the only way we thought we could do it.”

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who signed a three-year contract with the 49ers on March 10, had been the Seattle Seahawks’ player representative. He is a vice president of the NFL Players Association. Reid was the 49ers’ union representative.

Sherman said he is keeping a close eye on Reid’s situation.

“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league,” Sherman said on Tuesday. “He’s made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money. He deserves his money. Safeties make a certain amount. I would think he’s top-five, top-10 safeties in this league, so he deserves to be paid accordingly.

“So there is concern there, because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players. I’m praying that he gets picked up. But if he doesn’t, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential league action.”

Kaepernick never got so much as an opportunity to compete for an NFL roster spot during training camp last season. Could Reid, 26, be heading for the same fate?

Reid addressed the issue last week on social media:

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.”

The 49ers have not placed a priority on re-signing Reid. The club already has potential starting safeties Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert under contract for the upcoming season.

Reid, whom the 49ers traded up to select with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has 10 career interceptions. He appeared to thrive last season in run support as a safety who played closer to the line of scrimmage.