Panthers 10, 49ers 9: Graham Gano booted a go-ahead 53-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and visiting Carolina made it stand up with a stellar defensive performance to extend its winning streak to five games.
Cam Newton was not at his sharpest for Carolina (6-3), finishing 16-of-32 for 169 yards with an interception, but the Panthers limited San Francisco (6-3) to 151 total yards - the 49ers' lowest total since they gained 133 yards against Minnesota in 2006. Linebacker Luke Kuechly led the defense with 11 tackles and one of the Panthers' six sacks.
San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick was 11-for-22 for just 91 yards with an interception and Frank Gore rushed for 82 yards on 16 carries for the 49ers, who had their five-game win streak snapped.
The 49ers moved the ball in the first half but were unable to punch it in, settling for three Phil Dawson field goals and a 9-0 lead. DeAngelo Williams broke a 27-yard touchdown run - the longest scoring run of the season for Carolina - to get the Panthers on the board with 1:52 left in the first half.
Carolina's defense was dominant in the second half, as San Francisco's longest drive of the half went 17 yards and ended with a Kendall Hunter fumble. The Panthers didn't do much on offense either, but Ted Ginn's 25-yard punt return gave them a short field to set up Gano's field goal with 10:05 remaining.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Panthers have not allowed a first-quarter touchdown in 13 games dating to last season. … 49ers TE Vernon Davis suffered a concussion in the second quarter and did not return, and S Eric Reid left with a concussion in the second half. … Panthers WR Steve Smith caught six passes for 63 yards and has at least one reception in 100 consecutive games dating to 2006.