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Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers pass-rush units are among the league’s best (via

Sunday’s matchup features two of the NFL’s most disruptive defensive fronts, ranking first and fifth in the league in sacks, respectively.

CHARLOTTE – Kyle Allen and Jimmy Garoppolo are in the same boat this week.

Both quarterbacks are going to be staring down an intimidating group of pass rushers when the Panthers and 49ers square off Sunday in San Francisco.

Carolina leads the league with a staggering 27 sacks in six games. The undefeated 49ers are tied for fifth with 20 sacks and they are allowing just 10.7 points per game.

As you can imagine, both head coaches are having to spend a lot of time thinking about how they’re going to handle the guys coming after their quarterbacks.

“You look at those guys, they’re rolling that group of guys through, you never really know which combination you are going to get,” Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. “We’ve talked about the different skillsets of the guys our offensive line will face, and hopefully they’re doing the same thing for all of our guys.”

Yup, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is going through the same exercise.

“Yes, it’s good to hear other people worry about that stuff because that’s what I’ve worried about every single time I’ve played the Panthers in my life,” said Shanahan, who formerly was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta. “They remind me a lot of our defense. It starts with the defensive line. It’s a huge advantage when you have the type of defensive line that can affect the quarterback with only four guys coming. It’s a lot easier to play coverage with seven.”

We know all about the Panthers’ pass rush, with veterans Mario Addison, Gerald McCoy, Bruce Irvin and Dontari Poe wreaking havoc alongside young rushers like rookies Brian Burns, Christian Miller and even former first-rounder Vernon Butler, who had two strip-sacks last time out.

Carolina has also dialed up timely blitzes, with guys like linebacker Shaq Thompson and several defensive backs getting in on the act (defensive backs James Bradberry, Eric Reid and Javien Elliott have all gotten to the QB).

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