Gettis scored Carolina's first touchdown from 18 yards out to knot the score at 10 late in the first half. Then, after dropping a fourth-down pass in the end zone with just over five minutes remaining, Gettis bounced back to catch a tying 23-yard score with 1:53 left to play.
After Richard Marshall gave the Panthers the ball back with his first interception of the season, Moore found LaFell for a 35-yard completion to set up John Kasay for a game-winning 37-yard field goal. Kasay previously hit from 47 and 55 yards out.
QB Matt Moore
Moore got steamrolled trying to tackle McDonald, but in the end, Moore had the last laugh.
The victory was sponsored by a strong effort from Ron Meeks' defense. After giving up a touchdown on San Francisco's opening drive, the defense yielded just a pair of field goals the rest of the way. The Panthers held the 49ers to 282 total net yards and 15 first downs while allowing San Fran to complete only 30 percent of its third-down tries.
Carolina's job was made easier early in the second half when QB Alex Smith left the game with a shoulder injury. Replacement David Carr struggled mightily, completing five of 13 passes for 67 yards and the interception.
The Panthers will look to keep this momentum going next week when they hit the road to take on the 3-4 Rams. St. Louis lost on Sunday to Carolina's division rivals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 18-17.
--Steve Smith was back and not just on offense. He took over for Captain Munnerlyn as the punt returner and ripped off a 32-yard return early in the second quarter.
--Charles Johnson and Derek Landri both recorded sacks. Johnson's hit was the one that knocked Alex Smith out of the game.
--One of the game's funnier moments came when Alex Smith sailed a throw high to Tedd Ginn. Ginn, hearing the footsteps of a fast-closing Sherrod Martin, ducked for cover rather than attempting to catch the pass.
What do you think of Carolina's young receivers? Discuss in the message boards.
Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and also a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. You can see more of his updates by following him on Twitter.