PHOTO GALLERY: Panthers beat 49ers in defensive battle
After a six-week hiatus to deal with substance abuse problems, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Aldon Smith returned to field Sunday to play the Carolina Panthers.
Dawson gets 49ers on board first
49ers kicker Phil Dawson kicks a 52-yard field goal to give his team their first points of the game. Dawson would account for all of San Francisco's scoring in the first half booting two more field goals before the second half.
Niners test Cam, Panthers
49ers outside linebacker sacks Panthers quarterback Cam Newton during the first quarter. Newton would struggle most of the first half going just 5 of 14 for 54 yards and an interception to go along with just 10 yards rushing on 3 carries.
Gore has strong first half...
49ers running back Frank Gore stiff arms Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly in the second quarter. Gore 61 yards on 12 rushes in the first half.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick gets sacked by Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and free safety Mike Mitchell. Kaepernick was not much better than Newton in the first half throwing for just 52 yards on 7 of 11 passing attempts and just 6 yards on two carries.
Williams, Panthers get first touchdown
Panthers running back Deangelo Williams celebrates a 27-yard touchdown run with tackle Nate Chandler. The touchdown cut the Panthers deficit to two as the Panthers now trailed only 9-7.
Iupati injured but returns...
49ers left guard Mike Iupati is tended to by the trainers during the third quarter after sustaining an injury during a fumble recovery play. Iupati would sit out momentarily before returning later in the game.
Reid goes down, does not return
49ers rookie safety Eric Reid suffers a head injury in the third quarter after colliding with Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert. Reid finished with just a single tackle and would not return.
Kap continues to struggle
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick gets sacked by Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly during the fourth quarter. Kaepernick continued his struggles from the first half finishing with just 91 yards passing on 11 of 22 and 16 yards on four carries. He was sacked 6 times.
Panthers take lead on Gano's big kick
Panthers kicker Graham Gano celebrates after booting a 53-yard field goal for Carolina in the fourth quarter to take their first lead of the game.
Florence seals Panthers victory
Panthers corner back Drayton Florence intercepts a pass from Colin Kaepernick toward the end of the fourth quarter to end the game.