The 6-0 49ers have had the NFL's easiest schedule to date, with their six opponents combining for an 11-28 record.
Among those six teams that have fallen on the sword of Kyle Shanahan's club, the 49ers have faced quarterbacks Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Mason Rudolph, Baker Mayfield, Jared Goff and Case Keenum. Of those six quarterbacks, only Mayfield and Goff have long-term futures in the NFL. Winston is on the fast track out of Tampa Bay, Dalton is on his last leg in Cincinnati, Rudolph is an unproven commodity and Keenum is ... well, Keenum.
The 49ers' opposing quarterback gauntlet won't get much tougher in Week 8 when the Carolina Panthers come to Levi's Stadium.
Cam Newton has been out since Week 2 with a foot injury. Kyle Allen has led the Panthers to four straight wins, and even though Newton has been on the mend, head coach Ron Rivera announced Monday that Allen will start Sunday against the Niners while Newton "works with the trainers."
#Panthers coach Ron Rivera tells reporters just now that QB Kyle Allen will start this week against the #49ers, as expected. Meanwhile, Cam Newton will be continuing to rehab with the trainers this week. So no practice for Cam just yet.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 21, 2019
The Texas A&M product has thrown for 901 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season, leading the Panthers to wins over the Texans, Jaguars, Buccaneers and Cardinals in that span. Allen has played well in Newton's absence, not turning the ball over and letting Carolina's run game, spearheaded by Christian McCaffrey, inflict damage on their opponents.
The 49ers' defensive line has terrorized the opposition so far this season. Through six games, the 49ers are holding opponents to 10.7 points and 223.5 yards per game, and it's unlikely they'll allow McCaffrey to beat them.
If the Panthers plan to leave the Bay Area with a win, it'll be up to Allen's right shoulder and his line's ability to keep Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner and Co. off his back.
Easier said than done.