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49ers stay undefeated, throttle Panthers

Mike Florio and Chris Simms look at how the top teams in the NFC fared in Week 7 as the 49ers, Packers and Saints all continue to look like the elite contenders in the conference.

The 49ers still have some flaws.

They turn it over more than you’d prefer. They’re playing without both starting tackles. They’re so desperate for receiving help, they gave up a pair of picks to rent an aging veteran for the rest of the year.

But on Sunday, they had that same dominant defense, they had Tevin Coleman, and that was more than enough.

The 49ers stayed perfect, beating the Panthers 51-13 to improve to 7-0.

The Panthers (4-3) weren’t exactly a helpless opponent, having won four straight. But they looked confused Sunday, with very little working well. Backup quarterback Kyle Allen suffered his first career loss, and his first career interception. And then his second career interception. And then his third. And the seven sacks.

Meanwhile, Coleman scored four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving) as the 49ers dominated a not-awful Panthers defense (which ranked 12th in the league entering the week and led the league in sacks). Doing it without tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchy, along with fullback Kyle Juszczyk made it even more impressive.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw his weekly interception (as he’s done in all but the Browns game), but also completed 18-of-22 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns..

But the way his friends were playing defense, it barely mattered. Nick Bosa had three sacks and Arik Armstead had a pair, leading the pressure that made a decent team look helpless.