Up next for the 49ers are the Carolina Panthers. Although the Panthers came to Candlestick earlier this season and beat San Francisco, the 49ers are the better team and have a very good shot at winning their second straight road playoff game.
The Carolina Panthers have had an extra week off to prepare for their first playoff game in years, but they haven’t taken the time off from preparing. They have been focusing on whichever team they may face and they are looking to be a team that is not only good, but one that is feared.
The Carolina Panthers have a first-round bye in the upcoming playoffs and they have an extra week to prepare for whatever team may end up facing them in Bank of America Stadium. Cam Newton recently said that they don’t care who their opponent is, but the key to winning is forgetting about egos and focusing on their opponent.
The Carolina Panthers had to win the last game of the season to get the NFC South title and a first-round bye so it’s not like it was a time they could rest their players. Steve Smith had to sit out with an injury, and there were not a lot of other options for Cam Newton to rely on, but there need to be.
The Carolina Panthers started off the season with a 1-3 start, and were tied with the Atlanta Falcons for second place. It wasn’t a second place that was even close to the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints, but the rest of the season proved to turn out completely different.
John Madden said officials should not have picked up the pass interference flag at the end of the Panthers-Patriots game Monday night, giving Carolina a 24-20 victory.
Despite coming off their bye, and playing at home, the 49ers suffered another heartbreaking defeat. Instead of extending their winning streak to six, San Francisco will now have to beat a good New Orleans team to avoid losing their second in a row.
The 49ers winning streak is going to receive a serious challenge this week against a Panthers team that is playing (almost) as well as San Francisco. The 49ers are the better team top to bottom though, and if they can avoid any letdown from a week off, will stretch their winning streak to six.
Having an elite signal-caller who can win you the game in crunch time is essential for any NFL franchise.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has the statistics of a superstar. Now he wants the wins to prove he belongs in the elite class of quarterbacks.