Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports



As of Tuesday, the Panthers are five-point favorites over the 49ers in their Week 1 matchup at Levi's Stadium on Sunday.


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton played in just one preseason game. During that game, an August 24 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Newton completed both of his pass attempts for 21 yards and a touchdown.

The Panthers' starting quarterback underwent offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder and his availability for the start of the season had been in question. However, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told reporters on Sunday that Newton will be available for Week 1 when the Panthers travel to play the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on Sunday.

"I think he's ready," said Rivera. "You wish he'd had a few more snaps and played a little bit earlier in the preseason so we'd have more to go on. But what we saw, we liked. We liked how everything seems to be meshing together as an offense. We'll see how it goes as we continue to work this week."

In 2016, Newton's passer rating of 75.8 was the worst of his six-year pro career. He threw for 3,509 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions last season after leading his team to the Super Bowl the year before.

Carolina remains the favorite in their regular season opener against the 49ers. They opened as four-point favorites and, as of Tuesday, are five-point favorites in the matchup with an over/under set at 48 points, according to Yahoo! Sports. Some sources have them as high as a six-point favorite.

For the 49ers, they enter the game under first-year head coach Kyle Shanahan with a roster that went through a massive offseason overhaul. The majority of that roster is comprised of players who were not with the team in 2016. It is also made up of 14 rookies, which is over a quarter of the team's 53-man roster. 28 of those 53 players have three years of NFL experience or fewer.

Yet, Shanahan is seen as an offensive genius who can get the most out of what he is dealt. The 49ers roster definitely has his stamp on it and we will see what it can do within his complex offensive scheme at the start of a multi-year rebuild. The team has the potential to be more than what critics have predicted and it will be given its first opportunity to prove that on Sunday against Carolina.

The last time that San Francisco lost a season opener was in 2010. It has won six straight since then.